The Panhandle Rancher speaks….On Government and Responsibility

The nation makers by Howard Pyle, 1903


“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”  Thomas Jefferson [1]


“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give from those who will not.” Thomas Jefferson [2]


            No longer is there any privately owned real estate. No, not anywhere in these United States. Our land and houses even if mortgage free, are in fact but leased from the state. The so-called annual taxes we pay on these properties are nothing more than lease payments to the government. Just try not meeting your lease payment, then see how long you ‘own’ the property. This system of taxation on property is wrong beyond measure. Repetitive taxation of continually owned real estate contributes to big government and diminishes individual freedom to pursue industry and improvement. Some government is good. I like my government hungry and lean.


            I am a native Texan, blessed by an excellent public school system that was administered by those of that Greatest Generation. Texas of old nurtured the labor of my efforts such that I have worked every job from worm (beginning hand) on a West Texas drilling rig, to that of successful rancher with oil and natural gas production of my own – and a couple of careers in between. The price of economic success is taxation, and with more success, increasing levels of taxation. Of course, ‘everyone’ knows that the wealthy must pay ‘his or her fair share.’ What is a fair share for those hardy entrepreneurs who risk everything for a slice of the American Dream – while at the same time creating jobs for the masses? Should we penalize those rare entrepreneurs, or grant them reward for risk?


            Over the decades, my county taxes grew beyond all imagination, yet the dirt roads to my ranch remained rutted and impassable much of the year for anything less than a one ton four wheel drive truck. But in the county seat, there was trash service, public water, sewers, paved roads, and law enforcement. I had to provide these services privately. In a shrewd move, residents of the county seat and only city in the county, disbanded their city police, demanding that the county provide this function. Want to guess where the sheriff and his deputies then spent their time? Watching school zones for speeders became a popular income producing activity for the county and I might go six months to a year without seeing a sheriff department patrol on the unpaved and rutted county road passing by my ranch. Small rural schools were soon consolidated into a large city school and with commute and actual school time, children are away from home 10 to 12 hours. This is wrong.


“I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” Thomas Jefferson [3]

            Friends, have there ever been truer words spoken? Like many of you, I read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged  by Russian  immigrant Ayn Rand in high school. As my property and income taxes increased beyond measure, I began a critical examination of the various geographical regions of this country searching for respite.


            The purpose of government is to govern and soon the appetite for governing becomes insatiable, ever seeking to extend manifold tentacles into every last particle of private life. Governments do this by providing more ‘services,’ until eventually those services extend to welfare. Once a government learns to provide charity or welfare for the governed, liberty is curtailed. Those seeking a free ride increasingly vote to elect those promising the free ride. Because no one but the wealthy can provide that free ride, we have ‘progressive’ tax rates. We have lost sight of the fact that most of the wealthy got that way be being producers, by taking the big risks to become entrepreneurs and thereby setting others at work devised by their agile minds. Those who produce are taxed, taxed, and taxed again, while the free rider pays minimal or no tax and may in fact receive more in earned income credit than they pay into the system. This is wrong, wrong, wrong.


“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provision were (sic) made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” Benjamin Franklin


            This government has no right to give away my hard earned tax monies to any private citizen, public business, or nation state. Government charity is nothing more than stealing from one person to give to the other. Franklin spoke true.


            My father was a West Texas oilman. My family traveled from oil field to oil field when I was young, sometimes out of state. For a brief time, I went to a public school on an Indian reservation near where Dad was drilling for oil. That experience taught me a number of things, including how to fight. I saw the effect of governmental handouts at their worst. In that region and at that time, the natives lived in mud hogans, so the government built them modern houses. Those houses were much better than the one we lived in. The government houses were soon trashed. The Indians moved back into the hogans and used the destroyed government housing to shelter sheep. I saw it with my own young and disbelieving eyes. Governmental charity forges the chains that still imprison generations of Native Americans trapped ‘on the reservation.’ The chains of governmental charity enslave everyone on the dole. Governmental charity encourages wastefulness, decreases industry, decreases education, decreases personal responsibility, and increases governmental growth. Big government is most hateful toward individual liberty. No one in this land of the obese wants to see anyone go hungry. We are a generous people, but rather than give the hungry fish after fish after fish, we must find resolve to teach the hungry how to fish. Charity is a right of the individual and a right of the church. This right does not extend to government. “Those who do not work shall not eat.” II Thessalonians 3:10.

            Big government is synonymous with intensive regulation. Our tax code is so complex that it takes special training to understand all of the ‘loopholes’ created by the professional politician for special interest groups. Big government has a title and code for every aspect of life.


“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When people fear the government there is tyranny.“  Thomas Jefferson [4] various attributions


“To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason


“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson [5]


            From these thoughts proceed the Second Amendment, which intent is to provide the ultimate relief from oppression. This is a most serious Amendment with lethal intent. The Second Amendment is challenged by liberal sheeple every day, for we all know the purpose of guns is to kill. The big man Patrick Henry asked, “Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense?”  Pistols protect your person; rifles protect your freedom.


            Most of my generation grew up with rifles. We knew firearm safety. We knew how to hunt and process wild game. Upon boarding an airplane we handed our rifles to the stewardess who tucked them behind the pilot. Our pistols were kept on our person or in our unsearched luggage. It was a simple time. It was a good time. Liberty flourished. It was an age before the DEA, Homeland Security, and Bureau of Public Debt. From 1878 to 1964 our paper money was redeemable in silver coin. Our paper money is now, well just paper.


“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” Patrick Henry


            Prism, warrantless searches, NSA spying on citizens: would your father’s generation have permitted this abuse? Nay, I say. The WWII veterans learned all about bad government the hard way, in the trenches fighting a world war against government oppression. Do you fear your government? Have you ever had second thoughts about mentioning nuclear weapons, militia, or IED in your private emails or telephone conversations? If so, then you have lost your ‘right’ to free speech and you fear your government. We need to be protected the sheeple cry, and thus they trade liberty for security. May the chains rest lightly upon them. Our government would have to search carefully for the just right venue in order to empanel a jury that would actually convict Snowden.


“I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt is the greatest to be feared.” Thomas Jefferson [6]

            During the Great Depression more people lived and worked on farms than in the cities. The federal government had no sovereign debt. And, people still starved. Now we have more people living in the cities than on the farms, and an unbelievable unsupportable public debt. Think people will starve when there is another Great Depression, or that EMP event that worries many of us? Some ‘experts’ predict a 90% mortality rate in event of grid failure. At this level, critical infrastructure skills would be lost and if we survived as a nation state, once again we would have to re-learn the hard earned knowledge of past generations.


            Not concerned? Have a look at the US Bureau of Public Debt This web page explains, ‘what we do.’ The first sentence explains that, “Our job is to borrow the money needed to operate the federal government and to account for the resulting debt.” Huh? You should be concerned.


            Some economists believe that when national debt exceeds 80% of GDP, a country is at risk for ‘rapid fiscal deterioration’ (from NY Times:; and specifically Greenlaw, Want to guess the US percent of debt to GDP ratio? It is 100%. Concerned? We should all be terrified. What we are letting our elected politicians get by with is insane, yet they promise more entitlements and we let them get by with it. Shame, shame, shame. Less we dramatically change our fiscal ways, our money, our security, and our liberty, will go the way of the Weimar Republic (


            The Weimar Republic of Germany assumed huge public debt to pay off reparations required by the victors of WWI. Those reparations were specified in hard currency, not the circulated Papiermark so Germany quickly embarked on the strategy to buy foreign currency by printing more Papiermarks (quantitative easing). The predictable result was hyperinflation. Engraved on a medal commemorating Germany’s 1923 hyperinflation was, “On 1st November 1923, 1 pound of bread cost 3 billion, 1 pound of meat: 36 billion, 1 glass of beer: 4 billion.”  Think it cannot happen here? What do you think quantitative easing is? Our Treasury must print more and more paper money to pay interest on the sovereign debt. Quantitative easing if you must call it that is the worst form of taxation. Imagine paying $ 4,000,000,000.00 for a glass of beer. Historians credit hyperinflation as paving the way toward the German National Socialist Movement (Nazi Party).


“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Proverbs 22:3.

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them” George Washington


            It is difficult but not impossible to regain lost liberty. It can be done. ‘Right to carry’ was once understood in this country, not as a right but as a duty of the prudent. That freedom once lost is now regained in much of the country, although in a regulated and diminished fashion.


            Professional politicians are the problem. Their first and highest duty is to get re-elected for the government is their livelihood. Your interest will always take a back seat to their interest in getting re-elected and they will always give away the public till in order to get re-elected. Anyone in the same public office for more than two terms is a professional politician. These folks need to be shown the door. The business of government doesn’t take a law degree. The business of government is your business. Get involved and never, never vote anyone that third term in the same office.


“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all that he has.” Proverbs 21:20.

“Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” Thomas Jefferson [7]


            If you are reading my words, I pray that you have not only one year but also several years preserved food, safely stored and secure from exposure to natural hazard. Until the Texas drought of 2011, I always thought one year of stored food was sufficient. Admittedly, I ranched in a semi-arid region but that year my cumulative local rainfall was 2.38 inches. The grass never turned green and stayed winter brown all year long. Were I dependent upon a garden absent electrically powered irrigation, my family would have starved; the animals would have starved. The windmills might have provided some water for a garden but high winds and high temperatures would quickly leach away meager buckets of water from this source. And of course, there would be no winter hay for the animals next year. I learned from this and I learned well. There is nothing quite so satisfying as beef but the fact is, goats and chickens produce more with less input. Gardens, goats, and chickens in an area blessed with high rainfall will see you through hard times. Beans, bullets, band aids; goats, chickens, and a garden. These things my friends are real security and the best of investments. Trust not any business with your food and water; trust not any government with your liberty.


“If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”  Samuel Adams

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.” Thomas Paine

I must study politics and war so that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy” John Adams

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know now what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” Patrick Henry


            Bigger words, prouder words, have seldom been spoken than these. The Adams, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine were real men; they were big men, giants of their generation. Each understood that which is most important and that worth fighting to the death to achieve. Their words are the embodiment of virtue and express those things we too should value more than our very lives. The framers first tried diligently to work within their system of government to create change, but once having exhausted recourse, set out to do the impossible: to throw off the chains of tyranny and to create a new and unheard of form government, a government of the people and by the people; to create a system of government with checks and balances to the awesome power that a government wields, and to create within that government a mechanism of peaceful change by means of Constitutional Convention. Well understanding how governments crave power, the framers provided the governed with a final and most lethal mechanism of change via the Second Amendment. Alongside our great freedoms are awesome responsibilities. We regularly exercise the power of franchise to elect representatives to our system of government so that those bearing governing responsibility can be totally changed every four years. We alone are to be credited with triumph or failure. The burden falls on each generation anew and today that burden weighs our shoulders. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country. We can turn the professional politicians out and peacefully reclaim representative government. History will long show whether this generation loved wealth better than security, tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom; or grew men so big and true as to stand alongside Washington, Henry, Paine, the Adams, Jefferson, Mason, and Franklin.




Panhandle Rancher


The nation makers by Howard Pyle, 1903
The nation makers by Howard Pyle, 1903



[1] First inaugural address, March 4, 1801

[2]  widely accepted. variations, unknown.

3] Letter to William Ludlow September 6, 1824



[6] Letter to William Plumer July 21, 1816

[7] Autobiography 1821

[8] Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.


On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor 1766

Mason, Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

Washington, Address to the Continental Army before the battle of Long Island August 27, 1776

John Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams May 12, 1780

Samuel Adams, Speech at Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

Thomas Paine, many poorly attributed references


If you’ve enjoyed this, let me know and I’ll tell you a little about  how I came to leave the state I love.



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  1. Well written, well researched, well done! Thank you for writing and sharing this, it is what belongs on the front page of every news paper in the country! Wake up America! Thank you again!

  2. I loved this – can you tell me more about how you left the state you loved. Do you have a web site or an email address that you share! Thanks for an excellent article.

  3. Since the Revolution and up through Afghanistan every male and many female members of my family have fought for this country – we still stand ready – for this country not this government. Thank you for your words – they ring true and touch my heart and mind.

  4. Very good. Very well thought out, voiced, and documented.

    I will post this on my wall for any that come here to read, think about and discuss.

    As you have noted, resources are becoming scarce, and the ability to provide food and water are foremost in my view. Too much of what we have today is provided by someone else, but those can also be withheld or denied if we do not have the wherewithal to supply them for ourself.

    It is only necessary for the power to go off for a very few days for the water supply to run out of the pipes in any city, large or small. A garden requires a consistent supply to produce the food needed for life.

    As noted, too, the politicians of this day are preoccupied with their own reelection and not the good of the country, as a whole. They should be replaced, even the most inexperienced candidate may be a better replacement if only because they still hope to serve the people, and not the lobbyists and corporations offering cash to sell out.

    Thank you, again, for the inspiration.

  5. Rancher, I greatly appreciate your post though it both depresses and inspires me. I am always inspired by the words of those who created a form of governance designed to serve and empower the people. Depressed in that it reminds me how far we have drifted, we now serve the needs and wants of the government.

    I do believe that the founders words will once again be spoken with great reverence to the masses, the words meanings taught to a populace hungry to re-learn them. This won’t happen until our current system collapses under the weight of our many mistakes.

    Then the first classrooms will be held around the many campfires spotting our countryside. The survivors will learn to believe in and cherish the Federalist Papers, the Constitution and other historical documents and will make them the law of the land.

    Of course it doesn’t have to come to this….. but the powers that be will not give-up their gains willingly…

  6. Childish.

    You have a lot to say about loving the country, talk a lot about patriots…even end your piece with a painting of soldiers set during the revolution, yet there is no mention of serving your country in any way.

    Any military service? No?

    Then you have no cred. Just a whiny little boy. Mature adults, male and female know the the weak come first and self-sacrifice is the highest manifestation of the individual (Miss Rand’s first premise is wrong).

    There’s no doubt that the masses are weak and our governments corrupt, however the cause…the why eludes you.

    You have been played and you do not even know it.


  7. We’ll said,
    I have served my country in uniform and my community in many ways. Patriots come in many styles military service is not a requirement.

  8. To Simple Human, no Phd.

    I would be interested in seeing your rebuttal since you seem to be very quick to critique.

    Bunker Billy

  9. I suppose “simple” will have to find fault with the post.

    Failing that, since he posted no argument with the post, he may post another attack on the poster, Panhandle Rancher, or another post. He could have used the space to contribute to the post, or dispute some point made in the post. No attempt at discussion was made.

    But, instead, I think this is just a troll and they should be ignored from this point forward.

    I apologize for taking up useful space, Rourke.

  10. I have been doing research on impeachment which lead to research on Executive orders. EO’s are unconstitutional and the ones established decades ago to the latest circumvent congress and the check and balance system set up by the founders to prevent dictatorship. The established EO’s set up a situation that invites the president to waltz in and for all intents and purposes become a dictator. These EOs must be declared null and void as well as making sure there is nothing created to replace them.

    Did you know the president can declare a nonspecific emergency and take over everything legally using the illegal EOs?

    The first step needed to make sure we stay free is to eliminate the EOs. Contact your state representatives today to stop the president tomorrow. The following is a list of some of the worst Eos. Don’t take my word for it – read them yourself and decide if they are a threat to our freedom, then act accordingly.

    10995, 10997, 10998, 1101 – 11005, 11051, 11310, 11615 (can declare a national emergency for no reason), 11049, 11921, 12148, 12656, *11490* (gives president full control of everything!!), 13010 and the list goes on…

    God Bless this country and help us patriots reclaim it.

  11. Simple.
    I believe you will find the painting depicts ragged, struggling, farmers, tradesmen and everyday people…with a fever for liberty…just as you will find here. Played? Shouldn’t you be off working on Hillarys’ election campaign? D. (24 yrs. of military and govt. service)

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