Crooks and Liars

  New Nevada Agriculture Director
Takes Aim at Wild Horses

Part Sixteen

News From the Front - April 27, 2008

Field Trip to Reno

A contingent of about 20 advocates carried signs and circled the Nevada Republican Convention in Reno for about an hour Saturday. Advocates were available to discuss the horse issue with any interested officials and delegates. What the advocates didn't know was while they were enjoying the outdoor sunshine, the convention had derailed and was plunging down a cliff over the nominating process for national delegates. Apparently the whole convention broke down, or in the words of Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki, a "free-form fiasco." According to the Nevada Appeal and TV station KRNV, State Senator Bob Beers had to leave the floor under the protection of a security escort. Apparently not enough delegates were left after the scrap to complete the party's business.

If the media reports are correct, the delegates would have been far better off to hang out with the advocates who were enjoying a spectacular April day outside on Virginia Street.

Additional photos and a description of the day's activities can be viewed here.

True Patriots

Some of you might notice the script added at the bottom of each page of this report - just above the spacer bar that shows a line of Virginia Range horses - that says, The spirit of Thomas Paine lives on. Thomas Paine stirred the colonies to action through his pamphlets, much the same as the news media and news blogs do today. Reporting events and discussing what they mean is part of why America is successful - when it is successful. True Patriots tell it like it is, regardless as to the degree of pressure exerted by the other side.

Past and Present Connections

Thomas Paine was one of America's original patriots and Founding Fathers. He once had a job as one of King George's excise (tax) officers. Being a bit too opinionated he got fired from that job twice before he met Benjamin Franklin and moved to Philadelphia. (King George wasn't too pleased with Paine publishing the pamphlet, The Case of the Officers of Excise in 1772 that argued for better pay for excise officers.)

Paine set up a printing business in the New World and among his works were Common Sense, a pamphlet that inspired the American people, and Crisis, that inspired the Revolutionary Army.

Thomas Paine helped seed a doctrine that was reaffirmed by the Republican Party's most famous President, Abraham Lincoln, of "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" (Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.) Our government was to be responsive to the people and it was the people's responsibility to hold their government to account. Hence our Constitution put final power in the hands of the people and protected the people's rights to criticize what they observed were faults in our government.

The right to free expression, criticism, and redress of grievances is as American as our stars and stripes. Mr. Lesperance and his friends exercised those rights years ago in their "Shovel Brigade." As private citizens they had the right to assemble and demonstrate for what they believed was improper governmental behavior whether others believed them to be correct or not. Thomas Paine might say they had a patriotic obligation to do so as he might similarly reflect upon the effort of wild horse advocates to obtain redress over policies regarding wild horses.

There is a line when it comes to freedom of expression that both sides have to observe. Those with grievances cross the line when they disrupt lawful meetings, cause property damage or become unruly. A riot is an extreme example of expression taken beyond reasonable and lawful limits. On the other hand, it is similarly improper and in some cases unlawful for any governmental entity or agent to interfere with any lawful expression, or attempt to intimidate or threaten lawful parties in opposition. Freedom of expression cannot be abridged.

Mr. Lesperance now works for the government. In accepting their jobs he and his subordinates are held to a higher standard. In this role reversal, he is the one who has to accept public criticism and sending people out to try to intimidate those opposed to his policies is improper, and depending upon degree, possibly illegal.

Ultimately every governmental entity in the United States is responsible to the people. Those administrations who forget that principle don't belong here.

By the way, here's what the people from Lesperance's home town of Elko think about him. (Please note that this article and "Community Speaks" comments appeared on March 3rd, a month before the horse wars began.)

Lesperance heads ag dept., Elko Daily Free Press, March 3, 2008.

And here's what the people responding to the Nevada Appeal poll think of his horse round-up plan.

Thought for the day.

If you have a wildcat by the tail and you find yourself in a situation where you can't let go, who's actually got hold of whom?

Continue to Part Seventeen - Liars Club

Return to Part Fifteen

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The spirit of Thomas Paine lives

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