Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


 Burned Twice     

With 12 percent of our Treasure State suffering the drought of the century, over 300,000 acres of central Montana range and timberland has burned.  Producers in the Missouri Breaks are a special breed and today’s column is for those far from the fire line, but whose actions may be the death nail for cowboys struggling to survive the wildfire.  Consider what happened to our neighbors to the east. 

 A North Dakota rancher recently suffered financial damage and loss of property as if his ranch burned in a sweeping prairie fire.  It did not.  Without smoke, flames or heat, his ag operation fell victim to the most dangerous threat of modern times—progressives blinded by good intentions teaming with Republicans eager to compromise.  Here is how the fire started:

 In 2012, an animal welfare ballot initiative, Measure 5, was soundly defeated by North Dakota voters.  Never yielding, the US Humane Society coerced the ND Farm Bureau to help shepherd their legislative version of Measure 5 through the 2013 legislative session.  Sadly, after dangerous compromises and meaningless amendments, the bill became law and rendered a new normal in North Dakota. 

 On April 22, 2017, Gary Dassinger’s Gladstone ranch was visited by law officers who began the process of confiscating animals deemed neglected.  The time of the year, the age of the animals and their true body condition are insignificant technicalities compared to the truth Mr. Dassinger was unconstitutionally robbed of his property without notice or conviction in court.  Fifth Amendment rights to due process of law no longer exist in North Dakota and by granting immunity to all individuals working to “save the puppies”, he has limited legal recourse.

 I served in Montana’s House in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.  Each session, animal rightists recruited legislators to introduce similar bills always disguised as “saving the puppies.”  Although unique in technique, each elevated government power above the property rights of the animal owner.  We tabled them all.  Those who took my place in the 2015 and 2017 sessions also successfully rejected the same bills, but in 2019, Big Sky Country might not be so lucky and this brings me to my point.

 Missouri Break’s producers who nearly lost everything in the Lodgepole Complex Fire may find their surviving livestock a little thin over the next year.  Give thanks constitutional, Montana legislators consistently defeated the “save the puppies” legislation, or the government could steal the few thin cows they have left.  The USHS will return, so you best know the core belief of the legislator you send to Helena.  Will they hold the Constitution as a sacred document, or do they discard it as outdated?  It matters.



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