Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Ends With Americans Very Angry -- Part One

We Are Very Angry About A Lot Of Things

Let's get right to it. While many of you like Old West History as much as I do, a lot of you are asking why I haven't written about the problems facing Americans today. My answer might surprise you a little.

Frankly, I don't know why people want to hear me talk about politics -- especially since there are several news and political commentary websites out there these days. To be really frank, I'm a little surprised that several of you have written to ask for my perspective on things in the news. Most of you want to know my opinion about why so many Americans are so angry today.

Back when I wrote a lot about this sort of thing, I got a lot of hate mail from people who accused me of being everything that they didn't like. But, since you've asked for my "opinion," we need to get something straight here. As I've said before, what I see taking place in America today is not much different than what a lot of you see happening these days.

From what I can see, Americans are being attacked in a lot of ways. Mostly, I believe we are under attack from the Left which has an agenda that's not healthy for America. Many Americans today are angry because they see our Federal Government as an adversary and oppressor. Many people who I talk with don't see the Federal Government as our friend.

For me, while I can understand why people can be angry at Biden and his administration, I see being angry at our Federal Government as a whole as being angry at the wrong people. I've known some really wonderful people who work very hard in our Government. Most have absolutely nothing to do with the temporary residents of the White House. That is why I think we should all understand something very important, it's not our Government that we should fear -- it's the Administration in power that we should be wary of.

An Administration that's business-friendly and wants to ease the burdens of the American people, an administration that puts America First is the sort of American-friendly Administration that we want in charge. On the other hand, an adversarial power-hungry dictatorial Administration, one that serves the needs of special interest Environmental Groups and European Climate Change Pacts, and works to benefit other nations instead of our own people, an administration like the Biden Administration, is what we should loath and fear.

Most see the Federal Government these days as "Big Brother." I believe that "Big Brother" shows up when the wrong Administration is in power. We have politics in just about everything. As for Americans being angry, it seems like angry Americans are everywhere for good reason -- the Biden administration is 1984 Big Brother in the flesh. 

That's the reason why I believe that the Biden Administration is a very anti-American group. They don't care about what Americans need as they try to shove their New Green Deal Leftist policies down our throats. Their dictatorial measures, their attack on American Oil production and American manufacturing, their use of agencies of the Federal Government to attack Americans, their inciting division, their pitting one group against another while making Trump supporters and one race of Americans -- specifically White Americans -- the target of hate, have Americans very angry these days. 

So really, where do we start?

Americans are very angry at our Public Schools for good reasons. We all read about Public School administrators and teachers with political agendas who purposely hurt, confuse, and take advantage of our children. Administrators and teachers focusing on their liberal social ideals and the LGBQT Queer agenda instead of focusing on educating children in English, Math, History, and accurate Science doesn't help our kids or our nation. And yes, as far as I'm concerned, the dumbing down of our children is an attack on our nation.

So, after researching about what's going on in public schools these days, I've become a big supporter of homeschooling children. But besides homeschooling children, I really believe that parents need to be more involved with their kids. Kids today really need discipline. They need parents to teach them how to treat others.

Children should grow up nurtured but not spoiled. They should be loved, but also be corrected when needed. Kids need to be brought up with respect and common courtesy for others. They should learn responsibility by doing chores and such. They need to learn to have a good work ethic, be on time, make an effort, follow instructions, and how doing a good job makes others respect and admire them. It reflects well on them. Such things build good character traits. And frankly, these are things that kids today are lacking.

One of the things that make Americans very angry is the color division that seems to be very present today. It seems that the fight that was waged to bring about a "Color Blind Society" where people would not be judged by the color of their skin has been for nothing. And frankly, it's really too bad that all of the efforts of so many good people of all colors have ended with us now in a New Era when skin color means everything -- and good character means very little.

As for Americans being angry about being called "Racist" when they are not? Speaking for myself, the word "Racist" has gotten old. In fact, I'd say that the media and politicians have made it a word that means little to nothing anymore. They did this by applying it to everything. After a while, doing that makes it meaningless.

Today, just about everything can be considered "Racist." It's true. Today, we even have people in the media and politicians looking for votes who will call anything "Racist." I've heard a Biden admin member call a road and highway overpass, "racist." Yes, as dumb as that is, and as dumb as they are, they are in charge.

I've heard people, mostly those on the Left, call statues and buildings and whole mountains, along with several everyday food products, "racist." While you and I know full well that inanimate objects have no feelings and cannot be racist, that hasn't stopped some people from declaring some of the dumbest things racist.

Of course, being called a "Racist" means nothing to me anymore. It did once. But no, not anymore. The reason has to do with me being called a "Racist" over things that have nothing to do with race. For example, I've disagreed with the whole concept of giving reparations to people for something that happened over a hundred years before all of us were born.

I've talked about how the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 gave surviving Japanese Americans reparations and a formal apology from President Ronald Reagan for their incarceration during World War II. This was to try to compensate them for what happened to them and their children. 

Japanese American reparations are not the same as giving money to Black Americans who have never themselves been slaves. Japanese Americans reparations were made to Americans who were either still alive or their children. When I explained my position on this, I was called a "Racist."

I've said that all men and women, regardless of their color, should be treated equally, period, equal pay, equal opportunity, and equal respect, and I was called a "Racist." I've said that Women's Sports should just be for women, and I was called a "Racist." I said that there is no such thing as humans being able to "transition" from one gender to another, it's impossible and goes against the laws of nature. I said trying to distort a biological reality does not make a biological male a biological woman, and I was called a "Racist."

And to beat a dead horse even more, I remember writing about how I believe that the looters and arsonists who robbed and torched all of those businesses in 2020 are all criminals who should have been rounded up and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and I was called a "Racist." I remember saying that I'm color blind and treat all of my friends and associates alike. I also said that all lives matter, and I was called a "Racist."

I said that we should have a truly bi-partisan investigation of the 2020 Election to see why the number of ballots counted did not match the number of registered voters in some places. I said we needed to find how there were thousands of more ballots than people registered to vote, and I was called a "Racist."

I wrote about how all of the videos coming out "shows that the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol seem assisted by the Capitol Police who acted like tour guides." I went on to write that "Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi failed to do her job as Speaker when she refused President Trump's offer to bring in National Guard troops to the Capitol beforehand to protect the Capitol." Yes, believe it or not, I was called a "Racist" for saying such things.

I said that I supported Trump for president in 2016, and 2020, and would vote for him again in 2024, and again I was called a "Racist." The result is that the word "Racist" obviously means nothing today. Because its usage and meaning have been corrupted to such an extent, the word has become meaningless to most people. 

Should White Americans be angry over being accused of being "racists" when they're not? Of course, just as with any other people, there are White Americans who are "racist." But why paint every White person as "racist" when they're not? 

While the Left usually targets Conservative Americans, these days their target is White Americans as a whole. And really, why is the Left specifically targeting and attacking White Americans when other Americans are all just as "racist" as anyone else these days? 

The reason has to do with hate for White Americans coming from the Mainstream Media because they need a scapegoat to blame for everything that they don't like. It's hate in the form of pushing Wokism and Critical Race Theory to attack Whites. It's their message of hate. Their message is simple: all White people are to blame for everything wrong with the world. And yes, to the Left's twisted way of thinking, Whites should be the target today. 

Do you think that I'm over-blowing what's happening these days? The Left and the Mainstream Media have gone out of their way to attack White Americans and push an agenda of division. To get what they want, they need a target for people to focus on. Today, Whites are the preferred group of people to attack. Whites have been made both the villains and the enemies of America these days. And frankly, it's sad that there are people who believe it.

Of course, the Left pushes their hate for White Americans by encouraging the spread of lies. For example, the myth of "White Privilege" is alive and widespread even if it's a lie designed to incite hate for White Americans. Let's get something straight here, and yes this is for the woman in New York who wrote to tell me that I have had all sorts of privileges handed to me because of the color of my skin: the color of my skin never got me a job, a free education, a free meal, a free car, free housing, or free anything. I've worked all for it.

And as for White Americans all being lumped together and being seen today as "the problem with everything in the world" as I was told recently, it's truly racist to think that's the case. While such hate for White people is real racism because it is based on hate for White people, that sort of hate and racism is not new. I remember back in 2005 when a University of North Carolina professor said "Blacks must Exterminate all White People."

Before you write to tell me that I sound like a White Supremacist, please don't. I'm as far from a White Supremacist as someone can get. And really, I'm only talking about what I see taking place in America these days. The Left is encouraging division and hate. To me, I believe the Left wants to bring back segregation. And frankly, that is very hard for people to accept.

Of course, in 2023, there is another group of Americans who are also under attack from the Left. And really, Americans should be furious that it's taking place -- especially as a result of what's being taught at American universities. 

This is the year that Americans have found out how Universities have encouraged hate for Jewish Americans while turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Muslim terrorist groups like Hamas. The closest thing reminiscent of the sort of anti-Semite hate that has poured out of our Ivy League universities and into the streets of America is the hate that Jews had to endure in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

It has been a horrible sight to see in America. It is a low point in our history. What makes it worse is that many of those taking to the streets with banners that read "Exterminate All Jews" are Muslim Foreign Exchange students here on Student visas.

But it's not only White Americans and Jewish Americans who have become the target of hate these days, women and Women's Rights are under attack in a big way across our nation. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Women's Rights mean very little to too many on the Left these days -- especially to those in College Sports who have let biological males compete in women's sports.

Frankly, I'd be pissed if I had a daughter and she trained all her life to enter into a competition against other women -- only to find out that young men are now being allowed to compete against her. And even more so, I'd be standing at the door preventing those young men from entering her locker room or shower area. But then again, if I were a parent who had a daughter in a school that did that sort of thing, I'd find another College or university that doesn't allow such amoral behavior to take place.

Of course, Democrats are silent on condemning such things. Leftist political groups see Gay Men wanting to compete against women and use the same dressing areas as women as somehow okay when it's not okay at all. Liberals seem to think that it's okay for a man to compete against a woman when the competitors are not of equal strength and build. It's just not fair. But hey, Democrats have never cared about fairness.

But then, why should we expect anything less from Democrats. After all, there are Democrats in Washington D.C. sitting in Congress and are sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court who can't even identify "What a woman is" because they fear upsetting the Gay Trans Lobby.

And sadly, I don't see anyone on the Left willing to fight for women to be recognized and appreciated. But then again, that's no different than the way it was over 160 years ago when Democrats fought against Equal Rights for Women. Nothing's changed.

I find it ironic that the political party, the Democrats, who always talk about helping women, are silent and nowhere to be found on this. But Republicans are again willing to fight for Women's Rights just as they have for over 160 years. While Republicans are defending women and their hard-fought rights, there's the question if Americans in general should be angry over being attacked for our political affiliation or our support of President Trump? Should Trump supporters like me be angry that Americans are being described as "semi-fascist" and "enemies of American democracy" by Joe Biden? Is it okay for Biden to make those who support someone other than him political targets? 
Joe Biden has called Republicans like me "semi-fascist" for supporting President Trump. Biden has even said that Americans like me who support the "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) movement are a threat to our democracy. Imagine how truly asinine you have to be to say that crap. 

Biden did say it. He said, "MAGA Republicans pose a clear and present danger to American democracy." Of course, there are those on the Left who tell me that I should not be angry about that. I'm told not to take it to heart because Joe Biden is really trying to unite the country. Imagine that. I guess the Left believes that telling lies about 81 Million Americans is how to unite the country? 

We all know that there are Democrat voters who will believe it because Biden said it even though it's a lie. Of course, that's what Democrat politicians do best -- they continuously lie to their supporters because they know that their supporters accept their lies without question. The fact is, whether Liberals want to admit it or not, Democrat supporters are a dream come true for scammers, hoaxers, and con artists. All that a Democrat politician has to do, the same as what any con artist would do, is play on their feelings and emotions.

Democrat politicians and their political activists, including the Mainstream Media, know that Democrat voters are easy to take advantage of because they are not the smartest people out there. Democrat politicians know full well that on any sunny day that they can piss on one of their supporter's sandals and tell them that it's raining, and they know that their supporters will believe and accept what they say as the truth without question.

By the way, that's how the Democrats play their supporters. That's what Democrats have going for them. Democrat politicians and their minion activists can treat their supporters like mindless robots, brainless no-nothing zombies, wooden-headed dummies who can't think or reason for themselves. They see their supporters as the perfect victims of whatever scam a Democrat wants to run. And they do, and they are believed -- even though Democrats are just passing out more lies.

For example, Americans went through 4 years of having a sitting president who did not get us into a war. The Democrats didn't care that that was happening. Democrats still portrayed Trump as a "Warmonger" out to start World War III -- and Democrat voters believed that lie without question. Some of their voters still do.

Another example: President Trump had to fight to clear himself in a failed impeachment trial that has been proven to be a silent coup. Yes, today, we all know that the whole "Russian Collusion Hoax" was in fact a criminal conspiracy, a coup, to unseat a sitting United States President. We also now know that the entire criminal conspiracy was paid for and organized by the top echelon of the Democrat Party, including Hilary Clinton. 

We know that the Democrat Party received help from the FBI, CIA, the NSA, Big Tech companies, and Mainstream Media outlets who were all in on it. We know this to be the truth, just like how we've found out that the "Russia, Russia, Russia" thing was all about fabricated lies to unseat Donald Trump. But really, there are Democrats who still believe it.

It's true. Even though we all now know what happened during his term in office, that hasn't stopped Democratic voters from accepting the Democrat Party's lies and thinking that Trump is guilty. As one reader wrote to me and said, "You Republicans can't see it, but we Democrats know Trump is guilty of something. We just don't know what it is yet."

I find it interesting that in contrast to Democrats, Republicans seem to come equipped with "Bullshit Detectors" that sniff out what some politician is selling. Whether a politician is a Republican, Independent, Democrat, or a RINO (Republican In Name Only), Republican voters are just cynical enough to question what they are being told.

Frankly, that's a good thing if you don't like to be played for a fool. And yes, my friends, you would have to be a fool to not understand what occurred when President Trump was in office. The whole Russian Collusion thing to get him out of office was an incredibly elaborate criminal conspiracy.

And as for nerve, imagine the nerve it took to attempt a coup to unseat a sitting American President using false data, all completely fabricated, using the FBI and CIA and Foreign Intelligence operatives, and none of it was true as we found out later. Democrats ran with it in the Mainstream Media every day and night, relentlessly over and over again, to make the lie sound like the truth.

And please, think about this. Imagine what sort of organization that took? Imagine the cooperation that's needed to try to Impeach a United States President using completely false claims and a completely fabricated story? And yes, you do it with the complete cooperation of Democrat members of Congress. Imagine that. 

And let's not forget, most if not all, on the Left still believe that "Trump colluded with the Russians." Yes, even though we now know for a fact that there was a criminal conspiracy and effort to defraud the American people on a scale that we have never seen before. It's a criminal conspiracy that makes Watergate look small in comparison.

So now, knowing that Hilary Clinton and members of the Obama administration were capable of succeeding in achieving such a criminal act, what makes you think that Biden and the Democrats haven't framed all of those being prosecuted as January 6th insurgents?

Think about this for a moment. We have records showing that President Trump contacted Nancy Pelosi to offer her assistance by calling in the National Guard to protect the Capitol. We have a video of people who are alive during the time when the January 6th Committee said they were dead. We have videos of Capitol Police opening doors and showing the January 6th intruders around the offices and down hallways. We have pictures of January 6th intruders being escorted around as they stay within the robes while moving from one room to another. And yes, we have a key video that was withheld which shows that FBI agents were inciting the crowd that day.

We now have a video that's been made available to the public of President Trump telling his supporters that day to "Go home." We now know that that video of President Trump was on Instagram and Twitter but was immediately suppressed and taken down. It's true. By the way, Democrats are saying he didn't do that. Of course, it's inconvenient for them that we can all see that President Trump did in fact tell those rioters to "Go home."

With evidence like being exposed about what really happened on January 6th, and lies coming from the Biden Administration about Climate Change and Ukraine and Biden's open-border policy on our Southern Border, it's no wonder Americans are outraged these days. 

Sure, Americans are angry about food and gas prices. Sure, Americans are pissed off over having such a hard time making ends meet. But the issues of race relations which are at a horrible stage today, the issue of how politics in our schools is purposely dumbing down our children, the fact that crime is soaring, that criminals are going free, that the police are under attack more than ever, all lend to make Americans very angry at what's going on these days.

Joe Biden and the Democrats are telling lie after lie while trying to justify sending Billions of American taxpayer dollars to Ukraine, trying to justify ignoring the plight of Americans and the invasion that taking place on our Southern Border, and trying to justify attacking Americans with more regulations because of the Climate Change Hoax. None of this is healthy for America.

The bottom line of why we are so angry? It's because these problems are being created by the Left and the Biden Administration -- and not being corrected or solved. And frankly, people can see that. 

End of Part One -- In Part Two, I'm taking on sending Billions of American taxpayer dollars to Ukraine, the Climate Change Scam, the Invasion of America on our Southern Border, and more.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Texas Primer: Christmas on the Range

Illustration by Vivienne Flesher

Deck the halls with cedar and red chiles!
December 1983 article By Anne Dingus

This story is from Texas Monthly’s archives. It is being reprinted here with the text left as it was originally published to maintain a clear historical record. Read more here about our archive digitization project

“Christmas Eve fell as balmy as April,” wrote O. Henry in 1903, thereby summing up the distinguishing mark of a Texas Christmas: it’s hot. O. Henry didn’t know the blizzardy side of the state, living as he did in the south of it, but he knew that few native Texans witness many white Christmases. Most of us resign ourselves to green ones. Unless we live in East Texas, where pines are native, we have to buy our Christmas trees from the Optimist club. Without fireplaces, we lack the proper place to hang stockings, roast chestnuts (well, pecans then), and look for bootprints in the morning ashes. It makes us a little wistful, but we have faced the inescapable truth: the Christmas of Currier & Ives will never be ours.

Luckily, over the years we have created traditions of our own. In the case of the Christmas tree, our forebears used cedar, a pestilent plant that had never before done anyone much good. A. C. Greene recalls childhood trips to fetch “the least lopsided and wind-whipped” tree. If cedar was unavailable, a sapling, tumbleweed, or cactus might serve. Decorations varied—popcorn garlands, candles, strings of red chiles and garlic. On top, of course, was a lone star.

Texas does have mistletoe, which, like cedar, is a nuisance that redeems itself only in December. All over the state you can spot mistletoe snippers gingerly scaling barbed wire to cut bunches from beleaguered mesquites by the side of the road. The familiar shrub with its pearly berries must have provided European immigrants with a welcome reminder of home.

In addition to Christmas kisses under the mistletoe, immigrants brought to Texas a wealth of other customs. The Germans offered Kris Kringle and pfeffernuesse and caroling; around the original German settlements you can still hear the words “stille Nacht, heilige Nacht” sung to a well-known melody. Mexico gave us buñuelos, poinsettias, and luminarias, those lanterns made of candles inside sand-weighted paper bags. Bright Mexican goods and decorations, which seem so gaudy most of the year, fit right in at Christmastime.

Our most influential culture, though, was that of the cowboy. The range life was a solitary one, and holidays meant a rare chance to socialize. Most towns held a dance, and cowboys would ride all day to attend. Caroling was a mite civilized for early Texas tastes, so cowboys initiated the Christmas serenade, a shivareelike procession whose sole purpose was to make a huge commotion. 

On Christmas morning they settled down long enough for a church service or a few impromptu prayers; for all their horseplay, cowboys were believers. Later in the day, married couples invited them in for revelry and chow; they reciprocated by smuggling in trinkets for the children, who surely redoubled their faith in Santa when goodies miraculously appeared in their stockings, with not a store for miles. Texas kids, J. Evetts Haley wrote, “knew exactly what Santa’s sled and reindeer looked like”—after all, they grew up around harness and livestock.

Not so commonplace on the frontier was overindulgence, but during the holidays even thrifty Texans enjoyed this most universal of Christmas traditions. Cooks cheerfully used up hoards of dried fruit and sugar to make treats like fruitcake, an old Texas favorite, but the real delicacies were fresh foods brought in for the occasion. 

Bertha McKee Dobie remembered her father’s once asking “the name of that vegetable that is shipped in at Christmas.” It was celery. Eggs went for eggnog; oranges were sugarplums. The high point of any gathering might well have been the whiskey, for Christmas was one day when drinking could be done in public and to excess.

Excess has become a Texas tradition too. We always try to be the biggest, the noisiest, the best. We string colored lights on everything from fences to pump jacks, drink Noche Buena instead of wassail, and ring cowbells instead of sleigh bells. Who needs snow-covered pine trees anyway? They just block out the stars in our big December sky.

Merry Christmas! 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Use A Friend As Bear Bait?

When I read the story below from Cowboy State Daily, it immediately reminded me of an old joke about "the best firearm to carry for defense against bears." It is a very old joke that I remember first hearing in the Marine Corps about 50 years ago. The joke goes like this:

When asked what is the best firearm that should be carried in case of a bear attack, one experienced hunter and hiker said that he always uses a small .22 caliber pocket pistol. Seeing the shock on the face of the person asking him that question, he went on to explain. Whether hunting or simply hiking, he liked to carry a small .22 pistol in his pocket in case of a bear attack -- and went on to say that he always has one in his pocket when in bear country. 

He then explained that many years ago he learned that he should never hunt or go hiking alone. When asked what that had to do with his choice of firearm, he related a story of the time that he was hiking with his brother-in-law. Unbeknownst to the both of them, they got too near a Mama Bear and her cubs by accident. That Mama Bear came out of nowhere angry and charging them.

Being an experienced hunter and hiker, he pulled his small .22 pistol from his pocket. It was right then and there that he knew what he had to do to survive. He aimed and fired one shot -- right into his brother-in-law's knee. He said by doing so, he was able to escape by just walking at a brisk pace. He later admitted that he was never really that close to his brother-in-law anyway.  

Yes, that's what I thought about after reading the following story in the Cowboy State Daily:

If A Bear Charges You While Skiing, Go Fast Or Trip Someone, Says Ski Instructor

Video of a bear charging across a Lake Tahoe ski slope on Sunday has a Wyoming ski and snowboard instructor advising a skier’s best options are speed, or putting a slower skier between you and the bear.

Story by Mark Heinz, Cowboy State Daily
December 12, 2023 

While rare, it’s not unheard of for adrenaline-fueled bears to chase after skiers on the slopes or out in the backcountry.

Recent video of a bear charging through skiers on the slopes of a California resort has some Wyoming outdoorsmen experienced with recreating in bear country advising the best course of action if a bear crashes your ski outing is to pile on the speed.

And it doesn’t hurt knocking somebody else down in the process, joked a former Wyoming ski and snowboard instructor.

If confronted by a rampaging bear on the slopes, “I would simply ski as fast as I could to get out of harm’s way as soon as possible,” noted outdoorsman Paul Ulrich of Pinedale told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.

“If you get some decent speed, you might be able to outpace a bear. Bears are incredibly fast, but if you’ve got a steep hill, you could get to 70 mph and blow him away," Ulrich said.

Don’t think it couldn’t happen. A skier missed getting in the path of a galloping black bear’s chunky butt by mere inches Sunday in Lake Tahoe and caught the wild encounter on video.

Wildlife biologists say that although bears are typically snoozing by the time the snow piles up to skiing depth, a few bears might still venture out during the winter.

Close Encounter Of The Bear Kind

In the video, the skier initially spots the bear lurking alongside an open slope at Heavenly Ski Resort near South Lake Tahoe.

At first, the bear seems confused about what to do, but then starts barreling across the slope into the paths of skiers and snowboarders.

The skier taking the video utters an expletive when it seems apparent that he and the bear are on a collision course. But the bear manages to just barely avoid him before barging past other skiers and down the far side of the slope.

Use A Friend As Bear Bait

Ulrich said he’s never found himself in such a predicament. But if he did, he said the natural law of every man for himself would probably kick in, and the best tactic could be to find somebody else to distract the bear.

“I’ve never been chased by a bear on skis before so this is all speculation, of course, but one thing you could do if the bear is really aggressive: Find another skier and purposely drive them into the snow,” Ulrich said. “The bear will likely quit following you and just attack that poor sap.

“I’m not saying that’s the best advice, but sometimes there are no good choices. I would try to find someone who was particularly slow if that’s my only option.”

Ulrich even has a particular person in mind should a bear ever show up on the Wyoming slopes.

“Like Jonathan Downing, for example,” he said, mentioning his old friend who is a well-known lobbyist in Wyoming. “I would hope I could spot Jonathan on the slopes and trip him.”

Winter Bears Rare, But Not Impossible

Cowboy State Daily has been told by wildlife biologists that winter bear encounters are extremely rare, but not unheard of.

The good news is, Wyoming grizzly bears are smart enough to avoid places where people might annoy them during the winter. So, they’re far less likely to show up on ski slopes than the California black bear was.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department large carnivore specialist Dan Thompson said that “grizzlies especially tend to be in higher altitudes and away from any human activities” when denning for the winter.

That was echoed by Jennifer Fortin-Noreus, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife grizzly bear biologist with the University of Montana’s grizzly bear recovery program.

“Remember that most bears den at very high elevations on steep slopes, so the likelihood of encounter is rare, but they have been seen by backcountry skiers, snowmobilers, etc.,” she said.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

Use a friend as bear bait? Well, at least you know why I was thinking about that old joke. It seems that there may actually be people out there who may in fact practice such acts of self-preservation. This may be something to think about if someone asks you to go hunting, hiking, or fishing in bear country. 

Tom Correa

Monday, December 11, 2023

Being A Cowboy

Story by Terry McGahey

For those of you who would like to here what it’s really like to be a cowboy I thought I would write down a few stories of my life. This story relays to my time on one of the ranches back in the late 90s and early 2000s called the Cobra, which is a fairly small outfit of a little over 60,000 acres of mountainous very rough country that could kill you and your horse if you weren’t careful. 

The Cobra is located in an area called Klondike Arizona, not much there but a small general store with the post office located within it and from what I hear it’s now gone.

This area only consisted of cattle ranches at that time which is located about 58 miles of dirt road from either Wilcox or Safford Arizona. Because of the distance on the old rocky dirt road we only went to town about every two weeks and sometimes only once a month to get supplies and maybe have a drink or two or three and sometimes more at one of the local beer joints. We took advantage of goin’ to town.

My pard Jeff whom I had worked with on other outfits took over the Cobra as ranch manager and he asked me to join him and being we was best of friends I never even gave it a second thought. This outfit had been only taken care of by an old couple who just watched over the place and it had been let go for quite awhile with the state threatening to pull the leases.

Now the next thing to understand is this outfit was a purebred longhorn ranch and many of them hadn’t seen people in probably three years being up in the rough mountain pastures. These longhorns were wild, mean and fast. We wore out two horses a day at times rounding these critters up and pushing them down to the ranch area. 

You had to push these cattle like buffalo, slow and easy only guiding them best you could. when some would brake away you just let them go as not to loose the main body and came back later to gather them once more. You didn’t use your rope much on these critters but if you did you had to heal them because if you headed them you might not get your rope back for awhile and sometimes they would turn and come up your rope a hooking with those double twist horns trying to gut your horse and you also.

I remember one time I was working with one eyed Luke and yes he had only one eye. Jeff and Roddy roped this big cow by head and heal, sucked it to the ground while we had to brand it. This cow hadn’t seen people in lord knows how long and I guessed this cow to be about three years old. 

Well, when we finished I went to pull the head rope but hadn’t quite cleared the horns when Luke pulled the foot rope, this onery bitch came up before I could get out of the way and hit me, goring me slightly in the left leg and threw me what felt like ten feet in the air and maybe fifteen feet away before hitting the ground. I jumped up quick because that bitch was coming fast but I got to the side of the pen and clambered up to the top real quick. After that I looked at old Luke and said “Next time look at me with your good eye”

There is much more to tell about when it came to a few of the guys getting hurt, and a few were hurt pretty badly but I do not wish to get into that part. Every day the dangers were there, if not because of the terrain, horse wrecks or shale cliffs it was those wild ass longhorns themselves. Anyway, maybe this little insight I am giving you can give you a slight idea of what it’s like to be a working cowboy.

Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Old West Historian

Terry has been a working cowboy, writer, and historian. He is best known for the fight that he waged against the City of Tombstone and their historic City Ordinance Number 9. He was instrumental in getting the famous Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9 repealed while at the same time forcing the City of Tombstone to fall in line and comply with the laws of the State of Arizona.

If you care to read how he fought Tombstone's City Hall and won, check out: