Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gooberticker Update

I went to the electro-cardio-physicist, or whatever the hell he called himself, yesterday.

It’s confirmed.  I’ve got the AFIB. 

They had me on the ECG yesterday and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t just AFIB-ing my little heart out (ba-dum tiss!), even though I couldn’t feel it.  Other than being tired.  More tired than I ever remember being. 

Or maybe tired isn’t the way to describe it.  Maybe fatigue is a closer word. 

Anyway, he told me that I needed surgery.  Something called an ablation.  I guess they want to go in with a catheter and burn away/scar the part of my heart that isn’t working right. 

This sounds somewhat terrifying to someone who is sincerely hoping to be able to use that heart for another 60-ish years.  Sounds like it’s time for a second opinion, but to be honest, from all the research I’ve done on the situation, it looks like ablation is my best option (the other one being drug therapy for the rest of my life, but since I was in AFIB this morning, the drugs didn’t seem to be working too well).  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More on the Bundy Situation

So far, all I’ve written about vis-à-vis the Bundy affair has been about the legal claims of Cliven Bundy, and not the actions of the protesters, or the State of Nevada, both of whom supported him. 

To that, I cannot post fact, only opinion.  My opinion on the matter is that the protesters and the State are fighting a good, worthy fight, but they've picked the wrong poster boy. 

Pictured: Not a bad guy, just someone who is wrong.
 Since the 1970s and beyond, Nevada, and several other western states, have taken exception to the Federal Government owning so much of their land, and therefore having so much influence over their doings. 


The Feds, once very permissive about the use of these lands, have grown increasingly protective of them, and increasingly hostile to people using them outside of a very tightly constrained “allowable use.”  Many lands that were once open to all, are now constrained and restricted in order to please certain special interests and the EPA (which are essentially one and the same).  They change rules without notice, and without explanation, and then enforce them without telling people about the changes.  

Lands that I used to be able to use for hunting and fishing, for instance, are now closed to all forms of access but walking in on foot.  While this may seem like it isn’t a big deal, keep in mind we’re talking tracts of land the size of New England – not something that you can generally walk into.  It is likely that I’ll never again see the tight bend in Moose Creek that I used to go to, because it’s 22 miles into the wilderness, and they no longer allow any travel means but on foot, including horses.  I don’t have the time to put together a trip of that nature (minimum two days in, two days out) and so I’ve resigned myself to just living with it. 

What I’m not doing, you’ll notice, is just going in with my 4-wheeler or pickup anyway, despite the law, because while I don’t think that what the Feds did is right, it is their land and they make the rules.  That’s where Bundy and I differ. 

The tightening federal noose on the use of all federal lands is happening everywhere, and it is not a good thing.  It is being driven by special interest groups in Washington DC who have no clue what it means to live out west, and have tracts of land that big that are essentially useless to all uses but sitting there and collecting dust.  Frustration with the federal government in this issue is everywhere you look, any time you’re west of the Mississippi.  They haven’t been paying attention because the protests have been weak and decentralized, but we can organize and make ourselves be heard without pointing guns at people! 

Shame on you!

Shame on you, too!

Do any of you really, truly think that doing so gained our cause any ground at all?  

Piss off the feds, guys, good plan.  Way to go!  Now they’ll escalate, like they always do, and bring down the iron fist.  Maybe even use this as the final excuse to pass that gun ban.  Fucking genius. 

Ahhh duuurrrr!

It is my firm belief that the Feds need to get out of the land ownership business.  They are a blunt instrument, incapable of adapting to the conditions in the field, because they operate from half a nation away.  Their solution to conflict is helicopters and SWAT teams.  They solve problems by killing people.  They are the wrong folks to be owning land in America.  The lands should be given to the States post haste, with few exceptions, and the disposition of those lands should be left to the State legislatures to decide.

My guess is that this would incidentally clear up Cliven Bundy’s problem, assuming he lives long enough to see it happen. 

It is also why I routinely write my congressman and senator to ask that they consider a bill to relinquish federal lands to the states.  It is a good idea.  It is good policy. 

I understand the pain that the folks in Nevada are feeling.  I get it.  They are losing their livelihood due to the whims of special interests in Washington DC, but the thing is that it was THEY who put their livelihoods in the hands of the government to begin with.  They created a business that required the use of lands that they did not hold the title to, and then just expected everything to go to plan, without planning for any contingency, ever. 

That was monumentally stupid. 

It was a big enough error that it puts them enough in the wrong that grabbing the torches and pitchforks, as they have, is plainly wrong.  The Federal Government was acting as a landlord evicting a tenant.  Oddly enough, at the very same time, a bunch of “Occupy” types were falling out in San Fran to protest some evictions of long time residents from an apartment complex that was purchased by Google.  

So for the first time in my life, I see extreme right-wing militia types fighting the exact same battle as the “Occupy” types in arguing that because someone has rented a property for a really long time, that they should have legal claim to that property.  Does that seem right to you? 

Both groups are very clearly wrong in both situations.  The properties in both cases belong to the owner.  As long as the owner has a contract with a tenant, then he must abide by that contract, but as soon as the contract is up, or the terms of that contract are not being met, then the tenant should expect to get evicted.  Google evicted their folks in San Fran amidst a raucous cry from “occupy” types, and the BLM evicted their tenant amidst the raucous hue and cry of right wing militias.  How fucking weird is that?  How far off the rails have we gone in the situation when we’re arguing the same argument as “Occupy” in San Fran? 

People have accused me of being a socialist for not siding with Bundy, but Bundy’s argument, and the arguments of the people supporting him, are as socialist as the definition of the word can mean. 

So what to do from here? 

Demand action.  If every one of the folks who I’ve seen supporting Bundy on the internet put that effort into writing a letter to their Congressman and cc-ing their Senator, we’d make an impact, and perhaps do some damage.  Shedding blood is not the answer.  Threats of shedding blood are not the answer. 

We’ve picked the wrong hill to die on here.

You can't be 100% right, but can we at least try to find someone who isn't quite so wrong?  

I Get Mail...

Obviously you are a card carrying democrat that wants more govt. You probably drink prince Reid's bathwater too.

Now that I’ve finished laughing hysterically, what else have you got?

The problem with your interpretation of adverse possession is you conveniently leave out the hundred years before 1997.

No.  No, I didn’t. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I was quite clear that the years in which he used the land with the express permission of the United States Federal Government don’t count toward the time frame for adverse possession, because he had permission to be there then.  Or are you really arguing that a guy who rents a house for long enough should be able to own that house after a certain period of time, free and clear? 

See how silly and poorly thought-out your (and Bundy’s) claim is?

Also, you may have missed the part where I stated, quite clearly, that you cannot condemn public land.  I don’t care if you use it without permission for 300 years.  You can’t condemn public land.  Period.  End of story.

So no, I didn’t “conveniently” leave the part out where they used it for a hundred years. I addressed that part fully and completely.  It was either your haste in reading my post, or poor reading comprehension that lead you to think that I hadn’t.

His family farmed the land and has an adverse claim due to his ancestory.

No, they didn’t.  For the reasons stated above, and for the reasons that the custom outfit that farms my family’s land cannot take that land from my family even after farming it for 20 plus years now.  The “claim” that Bundy thinks he has to this land fails on two tests – one, he did not possess it “adversely” for long enough.  He only possessed it “adversely” for four years before the land owner took steps to evict him.  Most of the 100 years that he’s been on the land, he was there with permission, so that doesn’t count.  And two, and really, I can’t stress this enough, YOU CAN’T CONDEMN PUBLIC GROUND! 

Is that really that hard for you to understand? 

You and all your snarky socialist buddies I see making remarks about Mr. Bundy are way out of line.

If the only reason that you think I’m out of line is because you don’t like the way the law works, and wish it were different, then may I suggest that you are the one who is out of line?

He is not a criminal for defending his heritage and way of life.

He is trespassing on someone else’s property and laying legal claim to it when he has none.  By definition, that is a criminal act. 

The funniest thing about all of this is that you are accusing ME of being a socialist, but you are the one who has no respect for property rights, whatsoever, and that’ the first thing to go down the tube when the socialists manage to take over.  By your argument, a renter who rents a house for long enough should have legal claim to it.  Do you know what that would mean?  Only a fool would ever rent his property to someone.  Renters that managed to find a property would be evicted after however long it is that you think they need to be in the place to have legal claim to it.  20 years?  So in year 19, expect an eviction notice?  Really?  You think that’s a good way to deal with it?

Or let’s put it this way – if you got your way, and the law was amended to make it so that ranchers who graze their cattle on someone else’s property eventually have legal ownership and claim to that property, what do you think would happen?

I’ll tell you what would happen, and you aren’t going to like it. 

No one would ever, ever, EVER allow someone else to graze stock on their property.  Including the BLM.  You want to preserve a way of life?  Your way of dealing with this would destroy that way of life faster than you can imagine. 

Property rights are sacrosanct.  They are THE MOST important thing that we have.  Enforcement of property rights is the most fundamental reason that we have government to begin with.  If you want to shit-can property rights so that anyone that wants to can just lay claim to a piece of ground because “reasons” like Cliven Bundy is doing, then you first.  What property do you own?  My family owns a bunch of it, and you are arguing that you want to give a big piece of it away to that custom outfit because they’ve farmed it for a long time now. 

Don’t you see how fucking stupid that is? 

Cliven Bundy is not a hero.  He’s a man who has decided to continue using a piece of property to which he has no legal claim, in defiance of that property owner’s wishes.  That is called trespassing.  That is criminal.

Cliven Bundy is a criminal.  He is also a fool.  He built a business that relied upon having the permission of someone else to use their property, or else his business would fail, and then just assumed that things would go along the way that they had been forever, never working on any contingency plan in case the property owner decided not to allow him to graze anymore.  When things changed, instead of seeing the massive failure in his business plan, he just decided to say “fuck this guy, I’ll just use his land, anyway.”  You want that to be your hero?  Be my guest.  Sounds like a fool to me.  You may worship this fool if you’d like… 

 He is more of a man than you'll ever be.You are also a fool if you think the govt wants this land over grazing rights.

Here’s the trick, skippy.  It doesn’t matter what the government wants the land for.  If you’re right and the Feds want the cows off so that they can turn it into a solar farm, then let me clarify things for you:


If you want to change that, then you’ll fundamentally change, and further SOCIALIZE property law in America.  My guess is that this isn’t your intent and goal, but it is what you’re arguing for, nonetheless.  You call ME a socialist, when it is YOU that is arguing the socialist party line right now. 

You are going to look even more stupid than you already do when it all comes out of what this is really about.You are no Perry Mason,not even a Matlock either

I couldn’t possibly look more stupid than you do right now.  Let’s see, while putatively claiming to be a conservative, you’ve argued for the socialization of property law.  You failed miserably in reading comprehension by claiming that I didn’t address the hundred years that Cliven and his family used the land with the government’s permission, when I very clearly did.  You failed to argue a point rationally, and instead are throwing out insults.  You failed to understand how property law works, and in fact, don’t seem to care, and just want it to work the way you want it to because ‘reasons’. 

Who looks stupid? 

I firmly believe that it will turn out that the feds want to use this piece of ground for a solar farm.  I also believe that changes nothing, because that is their right as the owner of that property.  The fact that you can’t see that further reinforces the fact that you’re a fool. 

Now, again, if you’d like to have a rational discussion about why the feds own so much property and whether they should, we’ll probably be in lockstep, because I believe that all of this land should belong to the State of Nevada, or the people of the state, not the Feds. But right now, no matter how much you might wish otherwise, it belongs to the Feds,and as long as it does, I’ll support their right to use it in whatever way is most beneficial to them, because that’s how property ownership works, jackoff!.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Adverse Possession - A Quick Primer on Adversarial Real Estate Law

Angus McThag responded to my post about the Bundy affair, and made a salient point about adverse possession, and wondered how that rule might apply in the case of Bundy vs. the BLM. 

First, to those who don’t know, the rule of adverse possession is an important part of our property law that you should all probably know about.  It basically says that if person A uses or improves person b’s property in some tangible way for a period of 7 years without person b telling him to stop, then that piece of property becomes the legal possession of person a.  The use may be as simple as just walking across a corner of the lot every day, and beating down a trail to do so (you wouldn’t gain possession of the entire lot, just the trail that you used). 

So many people are wondering if Bundy might not have a claim to that BLM land via adverse possession, since his family has used it for 100 plus years now. 

The answer is a very straightforward “NO.” Even Bundy, himself, isn’t trying to argue otherwise, and he’s taking some pretty serious liberties with what laws he thinks apply to him.

Property owners can avoid adverse possession in one of two ways.  They can either grant an easement to the person using their property, or they can evict them. 

Granting an easement is as simple as drafting an agreement that says “I, the property owner, allow you, the property user, to use my property under the following terms and conditions.”  There are many types of easements, but the simple ones that most people are familiar with are things like leases, rental agreements, and access easements.  As I’ve said before, my family is big into wheat farming on the Palouse.  My family allows what are called “custom” farm outfits to farm their land quite regularly, since most of them are getting too old to farm their land themselves.  “Custom” outfits are essentially landless farmers, who just farm other people’s land.  One outfit has farmed family land continuously for 20 years now, but they hold no legal claim to the land at all, because my family has signed a lease agreement with them.  If they farm it for 150 years, we can still kick them off the ground in year 151 if we so choose, per the terms and conditions of the lease agreement.  It is the risk you take in using ground that you don’t own, especially ground off of which you earn your livelihood.  That custom outfit would be in deep doo-doo if my family terminated their lease, but that is the risk they take.  A family can rent a house for 30 years and not own it in year 31, and be evicted without recourse, because the rental agreement stops the clock on adverse possession

But if that same family squatted in that same house for 7 years, and the property owner did nothing about it, they would own that house.  Or, if the rental contract expired, and they continued to live there rent free for 7 years, they would own the house.    

For the 100 plus years that Bundy’s ranch has used BLM land to graze, he’s had an agreement with the BLM to use that land.  He is not a squatter.  The permits he was supposed to be buying were the lease agreements, just like my family ground with the custom outfit, and if the BLM decides not to renew, or to limit, or whatever, he’s got no recourse. 

Essentially, for that reason, his family has no legal claim to that ground based on years of use, via adverse possession.

The next question, then, is what about once Bundy essentially became a squatter in 1993 and stopped paying for his permits?  That’s been more than 7 years, so why doesn’t he own the ground now? 

The answer is twofold.

One, the government first tried to evict him in 1997.  That’s only four years, not 7, and an attempt to evict stops the clock on adverse possession, even if the tenant chooses to defy the eviction order and stay, as Bundy did.  If you give an order to evict, and the tenant won’t leave, and you do nothing for 7 years, then the tenant gets the property, but the BLM didn’t do that.  They’ve been fighting to get Bundy off their land pretty much continuously since 1997.  So check that off as a reason.

Two, even if the government hadn’t tried to evict him, and he’d been using that ground without their permission for 7 years without them doing a damn thing about it, the ground still wouldn’t belong to Bundy because of one key exception to adverse possession:

You cannot take adverse possession of (AKA condemn) public property.

This is actually a common sense exception, when you think about it, because public ground, by definition, generally allows anyone access without having to ask permission.  You don’t have to ask permission to use a park playground, or hike on a forest service trail.  If it were possible for a private citizen to condemn a public property, then all he’d have to do is walk on a BLM trail every day for 7 years, and that land would be his.  All he’d have to do is swing on a park swing every day for 7 years, and the park would be his.  All he’d have to do is graze cattle on the ground under the radar for 7 years, and he’d be able to take possession of land that belongs to the public. 

Get the picture?  That exception to adverse possession exists exactly for situations like this, to keep men from being able to surreptitiously take possession of public ground by grazing his cows there.  It exists because of guys who venture back into the forest and build ramshackle cabins, and if that cabin isn’t torn down in 7 years, he claims that public forest ground as his own. 

It exists because of men like Cliven Bundy.  

FLAK - an acronym that means something...

I posted about flak last week, and it got me to wondering...

How many of you knew that "flak" is a shortening of a German word?

It means Flugzeugabwehrkanone.  Pronounced FLOOG-tsoig-ahbver-kan-OHN-a
"You Americans!  You talk funny!"
"Flugzeug" means "airplane."

Period appropriate visual aid

"abwehr" means "defense."

NO!  That doesn't even...  Sigh...
"Kanone" means "cannon" or "big gun."

Airplane.  Defense.  Cannon.


This is one.  Right here.