Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor



Whether you admit it or not, your best friends are those who hold your feet to the fire. Fortunately, I have a buddy who mercilessly ribs me about my mistakes, so I do my best to never make one around him. One nice October morning on Pryor Creek I saw someone openly admit their error and then amazingly ask Steve’s help correcting it because they did not know Steve as well I did. Here is the scene.

Mike is a cattle buyer. For those of you unfamiliar with which end of the cow gets up first, cattle buyers are the middle men handling the purchase of calves from ranches in the remote sections of the hinterlands for delivery into the feedlots in the American corn belt. Earlier that fall, Mike had secured the purchase of Steve’s calves, so he drove to Pryor Creek to oversee the weighing and shipping process.

I was there to inspect and issue a health certificate allowing the calves to cross state lines. Paradoxically, my presence is outside free-market forces because veterinarians are required to be there by the full force and power of law; a questionable regulation passed many decades prior to my tenure in the Montana legislature. The buyer, seller, and middle man are not giddy about paying the vet to drive 35 miles from his office, inspect the calves and sign the health certificate. All three parties view the health certificate as a necessary evil preferably paid by either of the other two and this scale house negotiation is where Steve really shines. Imagine a redneck Don Rickles with a mustache, boots and chinks. Mostly I ignore the good natured harassment while waiting for someone to crack and say, “Okay, I’ll pay the health…how much was it again…geez, that’s awful…the vet up home does it for half that.” Being a country veterinarian collecting money on shipping day is all sugar plums and lollipops; however it is one step above the poor brand inspector waiting to collect the Beef Check-off fee. He gets crucified.

As I said earlier, Steve’s place is 35 miles from town and as Mike was gathering his paperwork to leave he said, “Steve, my car is about out of gas. I should have filled up before I left town, but I was in a hurry. Could I borrow a couple gallons of gasoline from you?” My mouth fell open in disbelief. If it were my vet truck running on fumes I would coast out of sight, push it into a brush patch and walk home before I would admit my short-sightedness to Steve. Apparently, Mike did not realize how this incident would haunt him every day for the next decade. This little misstep will never die and this brings me to my point.

Your closest advisors should have the wisdom and courage to harass you when you screw up. Sadly, this quality of confidants does not exist in politics as the ruling class mostly surrounds themselves with “yes” minions. President Obama intends to destroy the world’s greatest healthcare system and replace it with a state run bureaucracy where care is rationed based upon a patient’s demonstrated allegiance to the great master. Unfortunately, everyone in the president’s inner circle is a Marxist who believes it is a proper function of government to steal from those who work to give freebies to those who sit on the sofa. All are followers of Saul Alinsky, so expect no help from them. Now, even the Republican cocktail caucus is softening on their desire to repeal Obamacare. Instead they are considering tweaking it for when they return to ruling class status.

To see what is coming, look at the recent VA scandal. Dozens, to hundreds, to possibly thousands of veterans have been denied services. Their plight has been purposely hidden by an elaborate rationing system where your case moves from list to list until ultimately, you make the final list—you die. Logic dictates it is impossible expand healthcare services while simultaneously lowering costs without rationing care, yet the left promised Obamacare could do exactly that; apparently all by magic. For the moment, medical services outside the VA and Obamacare do exist, but what will you do when government healthcare is your only option? You will die; I tried to advise you but you wouldn’t listen.

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