Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


The Strain

It was June and we were camped at timberline on the Big Horns preparing to build a short drift fence using materials choppered in by the Forest Service. Without horses, we planned to hike 1500 feet down into the Little Horn Parks, build a half-mile barb wire fence and then hike back out in a single day. (Using the word “we” makes it sound like I was in upper management. The truth be told, I was a skinny eleven-year-old kid who would function as a pack mule on this job.) The early morning march into the Little Horn Canyon was effortless and success appeared eminent until we realized the grassy Little Horn Parks contained only grass. So, where were the posts and wire? We searched for most of the morning before discovering the cache a half-mile further down the canyon.

Dad and my uncle began digging post holes while Whit, a very entertaining cowboy employed by my uncle, me, my two brothers and two cousins began lugging materials up to the proposed fence line. Whit was an ex-rodeo cowboy in his thirties who spewed an endless parade of stories about his many life experiences. We knew most were wild imaginative yarns with little factual basis, but they relieved the drudgery of repeated trips up and down the canyon, so we listened intently while we walked.

Our one day work plan became two days and the first evening back at camp everyone dreaded the thought of hiking back down into the parks the second morning. Two balls of barbed wire remained to be packed to the fence line when Whit bragged between bites of dinner, “If only I had a pack frame, I know I could get those last two hauled up in a single trip.” To Whit’s disappointment, my uncle pulled a pack frame from behind the seat of his pickup, and a spark of excitement ricocheted between by brothers and cousins.

Shortly after daybreak, we boys dog trotted out of camp down to the materials cache and lashed the last two balls of wire to the pack frame. Before long, Whit limped into view; apparently still suffering from the sprained ankle he received sticking his foot in his mouth the evening before. Whit did a couple very impressive warm-up stretches before working his shoulders into the straps of the pack frame. He rolled from his back to his hands and knees and the 160 pound load instantly drove his face to the dirt and he groaned for help. We skinny kids each grabbed a handhold and strained to get him upright. Whit stumbled along with a red face and bulging veins and we boys hovered around him like flies over a road kill. Apparently, he exhausted his story inventory the day before, because he spoke not a word as he staggered along grunting like a prolapsed cow. Answer me this: Since Whit was straining at his limits, would it have made any sense to strap on a third ball of wire, or make him walk barefoot, or blindfolded? Obviously not, so why are progressives crippling job creators in exactly the same fashion? Here is my point.

It is senseless to burden the struggling private sector with obstructions like oil drilling moratoriums, Keystone pipeline prohibitions, and EPA greenhouse gas regulations unless a ruler’s true goal is crushing private enterprise—a task our president is performing flawlessly. Do you need proof? Private sector employment peaked in January of 2008 and we have lost 4.6 million jobs since. Over this same period, federal employment has expanded by 225,000. (Translation—4.6 million citizens have quit pulling the wagon and 225,000 federal employees have hopped onboard and are spitting tobacco, jerking the lines and cracking the whip like Rooster Cogburn.)

Campaigning politicians will claim job growth can be stimulated by first confiscating money from the private sector and then redistributing it to chosen industries within the private sector. This fraud is analogous to swapping the top and bottom balls of wire on Whit’s load and expecting this to reduce his risk of prolapse. Job growth will skyrocket when government bundles up their insane regulations and gets the heck out of the way. It is really that simple, but progressives are betting their subjects never learn the truth and instead keep voting for free stuff.

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