Day-traders chase Wall Street’s short term stock
swings and because the market is electronic, they
can conduct business sitting at home in their
pajamas. Cow-traders, on the other hand, have a
similar get-in and get-out style, but because theirs
is a hands-on business, they wear Carharts and spend
half their time at auctions, half their time in the
feedlot and half their time hauling critters between
the two. (If you add up the halves, you see why
cow-traders are always in a hurry.)
Cow-traders operate exclusively on buyer-beware
principles and they spiff up their merchandise using
well protected trade secrets. Here are a couple
not-so-secret examples: Successful traders can take
five years off an old range cow by using scissors to
round her tail 12 inches shorter than it was when
they bought her. Manure smeared artistically and
naturally across a tumorous brand scar hides her
true age just like dim lights do in a singles’ bars.
No doubt, trading cattle is a profession reserved
for fearless, free-market capitalists blessed with
understanding trophy wives.
Several years back I witnessed a conversation
between Gerald and Jim; cow-trading competitors who
simultaneously strolled into my clinic one winter
afternoon. I was quietly suturing a laceration on a
Border Collie, when Gerald and Jim squared off in a
cow-trading battle of wits where each attempted to
outscore the other in terms of best, worst, ugliest,
oldest, youngest or fastest cow-trading story. I
would make the analogy the back and forth scoring
reminded me of an Olympic beach volleyball game, but
when I do, the mental image of Gerald and Jim
jumping around the sand wearing Speedos blips in my
mind and I lose my train of thought, so I won’t. But
I did; that hurts. Anyhow, as their conversational
contest neared completion Jim said, “Now, this is
the honest to God truth…” before making his point.
Gerald instantly fired back, “You are wrong because
of so and so…and that is the ‘honest to God truth.’”
My mouth fell open as if I had just witnessed a
commandment of Old Testament magnitude. Apparently,
a cow-trader only tells the truth when their
statement is joined by the expression, “honest to
God.” It matters not, because cow-trading is
voluntary; altered truths are all part of the game.
It is the state sponsored lie which draws my ire
today, because everyone must play, plus we are
forced to accept a sanitized version of reality.
Here is my point.
I am a ravenous consumer of news and from December
14th to the 17th I witnessed a frightening,
purposeful molding of the state approved news
template concerning the Sandy Hook shooting. The
first reports from Newport claimed the shooter used
two semi-automatic pistols to kill the innocents
before committing suicide. By afternoon, authorities
reported finding a semi-automatic .223 on the back
seat of the killer’s, mother’s car in the school
parking lot, while later Friday evening, a
semi-automatic shotgun was found locked in the car’s
trunk. The story incubated for two days.
During the eight o’clock news headlines Monday
morning, I heard three separate news outlets lead
with stories generally criticizing semi-automatic
rifles as being “just like the one used to kill all
those young children in Sandy Hook.” By noon on the
17th, a medical examiner reported the school was
filled with .223 casings and all the fatal wounds in
the children were fired from a long rifle. They
expect us to believe all the first reports were
wrong, only Monday’s report is the truth, and they
obtained ballistic data to establish a cause of
death on 26 murders after a mere two day’s work.
Somebody is lying.
Early last week 40 percent of my friends remembered
pistols as being used in the shooting.
Frighteningly, by week’s end, nearly 90 percent
recite the state sponsored line the carnage was from
a semi-automatic assault rifle. With the debate
successfully re-focused on the rifle, the true
problem is easier to ignore. Gun-free zones are
government mandated target rich environments
demonstrating the failure of the progressive utopia,
so by simply adjusting the media narrative to
assault rifles, this “honest to God truth” can be
ignored. I am proposing legislation to fix this
gun-free zone failure, but unlike the NRA proposal,
mine costs nothing. Visit http://leg.mt.gov to
monitor the process.