Let My People Go

I am either 1/64 or 1/128th or 1/256th American Indian, depending upon which genealogy records you believe and various other

assumptions one might make about the reliability of the white man’s records at a time when denying the purity of an Indian’s blood was a profitable endeavor.    Six generations ago there was a Cassman who tangled with the central government, fought business enemies, fathered a bunch of children, made some bad decisions, drank too much, and….well, ended up dead in a hollowed out tree in central Indiana in a snowstorm.

A quote from the Indiana Historical Magazine:

Such facts as are known of him do not honor him in his distinction as the first recorded land owner in this county. He had the Indian thirst for whisky, and had neither the thrift nor industry to develop his land and become a factor of civilization. Examination of documents, however, seems to reveal the more complex picture of a bewildered Indian trying to cope with official red tape, unresponsive agents, and Jacksonian policies in handling Indian affairs. Cassman was hampered by his poverty, lack of education and business acumen; by the white man’s prejudice, greed, and impatience to possess the land; and especially by his own frequent intemperance. Cassman obtained whiskey at stores kept by white men who then hypocritically condemned his use of it.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, that explains things”.  Perhaps.  My father and his father and his father all seemed to be hardworking, law-abiding, humble Midwestern folk who … Read the rest

BLM Tactical Retreat

When the Feds backed off their siege on the Nevada ranch I posted on FB the following, “Nevada rancher beats the feds….for now.”  I don’t for a second believe his tangle with the central government is over.

One of the best quotes I heard while on my, er, sabbatical, was the following; “They [the Feds], can make lots of mistakes; we can’t

make any”.  The man who uttered this was referring to the fact that if the Feds are after you, they only need one misstep by the target to justify an arrest, indictment and conviction.  They, on the other hand, might and usually do make lots of tactical and strategic mistakes along the way, but they have the time, resources and immunity from litigation or prosecution to recover from them.  In the end, they’ll get the target, one way or another.  They have the disadvantage of the burden of proof, but they have every other advantage in the “game”.

I knew a guy who had been under investigation for 20 years, and knew it, but had remained beyond their reach because of his caution, discipline and paranoia.  It only took one single phone call and violation of his own rules and it all came crashing down. In his mind, he had been so disciplined for so long and was seemingly beyond reach that he had unconsciously dropped his guard.  He thought he was invincible.  Like a black swan event, the prospect of his arrest had become unlikely, and while … Read the rest