MDC Once Again Under Attack!

The Missouri Conservation and Use Tax is once again under attack. ‘This money goes directly to support forest and wildlife conservation efforts. Out of every $8 of taxable goods one penny goes for conservation.

In the early 70s Missouri citizens petitioned to get the tax placed on the ballot. They succeeded, it passed and was implemented on July 1, 1977. Then in 1999 state officials attempted to divert the money collected to pay refunds to taxpayers to only have the Missouri Supreme Court rule that the money could only be used for conservation and not be considered part of the states total revenues.

When I was a child there were a lot of areas of Missouri where it was rare to see a deer or a turkey. I grew up fishing the Big River and bass fishing was mediocre.

In 1977 when the money was allocated to the MDC, things began to change. A little slow at first but soon things began to improve. Due to responsible conservation efforts game became more abundant. Hunters were allotted more tags to fill for deer and turkey. Bass fishing became more rewarding. Money started coming in from out of state hunters who wanted to take advantage of our good hunting. Out of state fisherman also traveled to Missouri to take advantage of our excellent fishing. New land was bought and more public hunting areas and river accesses were made available. New conservation areas were established. Other states began to take notice and implemented programs in their states that the MDC had created.

Now Republican Chris Dinkins of District 144 has introduced two constitutional amendments that could destroy the improvements that have been made. HJR 108 and HJR 112. She says it is in an effort to rein in the overgrown bureaucracy of the MDC and make the department more accountable to the people.

HJR 108 would give the voters the opportunity to change the Missouri Conservation Commission. Presently the commission has four members who are appointed by the governor. Her amendment would change that number to nine nonpartisan members. Voters would elect one member from the current MDC districts and the governor would appoint one member to the commission. I thought she wanted to rein in bureaucracy within the department but this would only add to it causing more bureaucratic red tape.

HJR 112, if passed by voters, would take two thirds of the money and pass it on to other areas in need. The Missouri Supreme Court has already ruled that the money could only be used for conservation and can not be considered part of the states total revenues. Lawsuits? I know the voters are voting on it but the voters passed it in the first place.

She points out that the MDC has a savings account balance of almost 100 million dollars. Sounds to me like they are being pretty responsible. Representative Dinkins that’s let me point out that a savings account is usually used for emergencies. How much of that money was contributed from the Conservation Sales and Use Tax and how much from the sale of licenses, tags, ammo, etc.? If the economy tanks the MDC could go through that money pretty quickly in an effort to keep its programs afloat. Did you ever think of that are better yet do you even care? She says the MDC continues to attack the civil liberties of this state but cites no references. If you are going to throw the sportsmen of this state under the bus at least tell us why? Since you represent Reynolds county I would be suspect it has something to do with the battle between feral hog hunters and the MDC. So your solution is to punish all sportsman of the state of Missouri?

I hope the sportsmen in this state takes a long hard look at what is going on here and the impact these two amendments will have on bird hunting, deer hunting, turkey hunting, fishing and all the other programs offered by the MDC. Are we going to stand by and let this destroy all the accomplishments the MDC has made since 1977. I for one hope not.

Let Us Not Bury the Past

 

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In Memory of

Thomas Robert Burnette

January 31, 1915 – November 14, 1992

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“Mining is a dangerous profession.  There’s no way to make a mine completely safe: These are the words owners have always used to excuse needless deaths and the words miners use to prepare for them.” – Tawni O’Dell

Mr Burnette was a resident of Flat River, MO and he worked in the lead mines.  He worked at the St. Joe Lead Number 9 mine in  Farmington, MO and at the Pea Ridge Mine. He dug ore for nearly 30 years.  When he worked in the mines they didn’t do blood tests to check for lead poisoning.   During his time in the mines he cut a finger off and got caught between two ore cars and suffered a broken hip that had to be pinned.  After he healed up, back in the mines he went and worked there until he suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire at the age of fifty-eight.  His daughter remembered seeing his checks and said he cleared fifty dollars a week.  He was married and reared five children.  He is just one of many who worked in the mines and his family is just one of many that have all the memories of their families working in the mines.

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The Old Lead Belt is located deep within the eastern Ozarks of Missouri.  The Southeast Missouri lead district is a major part of the lead belt and has been a major player in Missouri’s economic and social fabric for more than 280 years.  In early 1700 a European by the name of Pierre Charles LeSeur led the first mineralogical expedition into the Mississippi Valley.  Missouri’s ore deposits have made it the nation’s major source of ore for over 90 years.  The abundant ore deposits brought thousands of workers to Missouri, where over the years they created 1,000 miles of abandoned multilevel mine tunnels,  300 miles of underground mainline railroad tracks and a legacy of 108 years of mining operations in the area.

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Drum roll……………., I am stepping onto my soap box.  Here is my beef.  In 1923 St. Joe Lead CO. purchased the Federal Mill No. 3 lead-concentrating complex.  They all ready owned nearly 950 acres in Bonne Terre that was bought in 1864.  In late 1975 they donated the Federal mine mill complex and its adjoining lands to Missouri for the purpose of creating a state park.  The Missouri Department of Natural Resources took possession of the 8,244 acre tract in 1976 and named it St. Joe Park and in 1980 the 25 acre mine mill was designated as Missouri Mines State Historic Site.

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I just visited the site along with Mr Burnette’s daughter and step son.  I am appalled by the way the state is letting the old mill fall into ruination.  I know money is tight but they could do more.  This site holds a lot of memories for the miner families in Bonne Terre, Desloge, Park Hills and the surrounding areas.  People died in these mines. Why let it die off?  This could be an amazing tourist attraction for these towns.  This site has so many possibilities.  There is so much history here.  PLEASE don’t let it fall down and disappear into the past.

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The 16,00 square-foot mine-mill powerhouse is being developed into a large museum providing information and the history of the mining business in Missouri with displays and old mining machinery and a huge collection of minerals.  It is a start but the site has the potential for so much more.

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In 1981 Doug and Cathy Georgens bought the rights to the Bonne Terre Mine and invested their money in the mine and have built it into a diving mecca.  They have daily tours also.  I have took the tour myself and it is fascinating.  The state of Missouri could save the history of mines in St. Joe and should do just that.  I urge them to set up a fund that people can give to the mine exclusively.  I also urge them to start funding the mine and start rehabbing the buildings.  Please for the sake of those that worked in and died in the mines save the mine.

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In closing I ask for anyone’s help in saving this mine.  Please write your representatives and if you haven’t, take the tour.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Help save the history of Missouri’s mines.

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Where Are We Headed?

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Balloon Glow at Engler Park in Farmington, MO

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer

The other night while I was responding to a post on the attack in the UK, I used the word “they” and I had some fanatic climb all over me and accuse me of being a bigot.  I asked for an explanation and his response was come on, you were referring to Muslims.  I told him I was referring to ISIS but didn’t name them because no one had taken credit  yet.  He says yeah right, cut the BS and just admit that you were referring to Muslims.  This man did not even know me and was putting words in my mouth.  He had to have issues to be that adamant that I meant Muslims when I told him I didn’t.  It shall remain a mystery to me.

A friend and I had been talking about the shortage of compassion in our world today.   We had a discussion about how did we get here and where are we headed.  After the conversation with the rude gentleman, I got to thinking about the conversation between my friend and I and it occurred to me that people like this are helping make compassion a thing of the past.  This man was so rude, a person would find it very hard to show him any compassion.

In 2013 there were 664,435 legal induced abortions in the US.  We are talking human lives.  That is over 1800 fetuses ripped daily from the wombs of their mothers.  I am in no way judging the people having the abortion because I feel it is their right, however 1800 a day?  Where is the compassion?  People in this country get more fired up over horse slaughter than they do abortions.  Our society has more compassion for animal lives than human.  How has this happened?

Compassion – sympathetic consciousness  of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it. –  Merriam Webster

Our own congress has no compassion for our war veterans.  They gut their benefits then give money to refugees entering this country who have it better than our own veterans. That is just wrong on so many levels.  Even John McCain, former POW, doesn’t seem to have any compassion for our veterans.  Ten years ago Americans were very compassionate about our flag and our National Anthem.  I went to a rodeo tonight and I was saddened by the number of people who didn’t remove their hats and those that didn’t stand when a rider brought “Old Glory” into the arena.  I know they have that right but ten years ago it would have been 100% participation.  Why so much change all of a sudden?  Where are we headed?

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Balloon glow at Engler Park in Farmington, MO

Is the US destined to become a passionless country?  Our government wants to bring refugees into the country as our homeless veterans live in the streets along with other homeless people.  We have citizens at this moment that are so passionate about who they thought should be president that it is coming between friends and family.  Sad thing is that neither side has enough compassion to initiate a bill forcing them to put money back in social security that they stole and keep the government from using it for anything else. Murder statistics show us that every year our citizenry loses a little more compassion for human life every year.  When it comes to our elderly it seems compassion has left the building.  Financial crimes against the elderly seems to escalate every year.

I could go on but I think you know what I am saying.  Every year compassion becomes more and more an emotion of the past.  A relic.  Lost and forgotten.  I don’t know what your thoughts are I am afraid of what lies ahead for this great nation.  It seems that we have all kinds of compassion for the people of other countries but none for the people of the United States like the veterans and elderly.  Things have to change in this country and soon but it is going to take ‘us the people” to do it.

Thank you for reading.  Remember, don’t squat with your spurs on, share the love and be kind to one another,  God Bless you one and all.

Prep Or Not To Prep

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Sunrise in Bonne Terre, MO

“To be prepared is half the victory.” – Miguel de Cervantes

Prepper : noun/North American     A person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.

I know that there are those of you who think we are crazy.  Personally I think it is the difference between eating and starving.  It is no different than having a savings account set aside for an emergency that might arise.  The mainstream media has given the term “prepping” a bad name.  They tend to make us out to be lunatics wearing tin foil hats, Doomsday idiots and other things.  There are different types of prepping dependent on what one is trying to accomplish and an estimated three million participants in the US.

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I was pretty much raised a country boy.  Learned to hunt, plant garden, fish and how to cook and can.  In the spring we would head into the woods looking for polk.   We would pick blackberries, dewberries, mulberries, muscadines and gooseberries and my mom would make jelly from them.  My grandparents and parents were preppers.  They didn’t know that they were and neither did I.  Every year they put out a big garden and canned what could be canned.  I remember us getting together and canning sausage one year. That was quite a learning experience.  My Grandma White canned a lot of meat including fish.  She had a root cellar where she kept what she canned, onions to dry, potatoes and herbs.

My mom canned a lot also.  Some years she would can up to 100 pints of green beans. She canned beets, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, salsa, etc..  My mom had shelves in the basement where she stored the stuff she canned.  I can’t remember a year she didn’t do any canning.

I don’t know how you feel about preppers.  There are those that like them and others that think their elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top.  We aren’t hurting anyone.  I have seen some people who seem to be afraid of us.  Why?, I don’t know.

I prep because I live close to the New Madrid fault in Missouri.  In 63 years I have also been in 3 tornadoes.  In one of them I was without power for 10 days and during the day the high temps were in the upper 90s.  I have seen many different scenarios of what life would be like here in this area if an earthquake occurred along the New Madrid fault and none of them were very promising.  It would be devastating and would tax the local food suppliers.  Think about it.  They call for a snowstorm and bread and milk are cleaned out of the local stores in a matter of minutes.

I realize prepping isn’t for everyone but I will be a prepper until the day I die.  Thanks for reading my blog.  Means a lot.  Be kind to one another.  Share the love and remember, don’t squat with your spurs on.  God Bless you one and all.

 

 

 

 

Humanity RIP?

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Sunset in Bonne Terre, MO

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.  To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.” – Marie Curie

Have we built a better world?  Does the present generation value human life as much as we did 50 years ago?   Have we become a society of instant gratification?  Last but not least, are we improving as individuals and what is considered improvement?

A better world?  If we look at it from a technological point I would say that we have somewhat built a better world.  When I was a kid growing up I had the pleasure to be a part of the party line.  You just haven’t lived unless you have partook of the party line.  When the phone rang you had to  count the rings so you knew if it was a call for you or not.  Ours at the time was three ringy dingies.  We have come a long way for sure technically speaking.  There have been a lot of advancements in technology.  Advance in humanity not so much.

“If you truly believe in the value of life, you care about all of the weakest and most vulnerable members of society.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

Value of Human Life?  First of all how do you put a value on a life?  I have to admit that I am quite perplexed by the way young people seem to not value life as much as my friends and I did when we were their age.  Now before you call me all those juicy names I am not saying that everyone in that generation is like that.  There are exceptions to every rule.  I can not figure out what happened.  Bad parenting?  Should they have been taught that there are winners and losers and life isn’t always so good to you and…………..and…………….and just maybe they should have been taught what respect is.  Bullying seems to be a bigger problem than ever.  We had our share of bullying however social media has given these folks a heartless. vengeful vehicle of mass bullying and there are those who have even died from the abuse of it.

“Why are young adults so self-centered and always seeking instant gratification?  Because older adults, often positions of power, paint them that way.” – Raymond Arroyo

Instant gratification?  During my years of childhood folks would actually save up and pay cash.  What a novel idea.  My oh my!  Wonder what would  happen to credit card companies today if John Q Public started doing that?   Sad thing is that we stand back and let credit card companies set them up for failure when they are young adults just starting college.  Then our government does nothing to reign these companies in and keep them from preying on them.  They borrow money at 2 to 3 percent then when they get behind they charge late fees and jack the interest rate up to 26 percent.  Where is the humanity in taking advantage of these folks to increase their profits?

I don’t know that we have improved as individuals.  It seems every year that compassion and humanity is pushed to the back burner replaced by greed and personal gratification.  Our own government seems to lack in humanity.  They are fueled by greed which leads to corruption.  At this very moment they are playing with individual’s lives through health care.  Every time they pass one they exempt themselves from it.  They play favorites to their campaign supporters at the expense of the people they are supposed to represent.  They always manage to place the bulk of financial burden for their programs on the backs of the middle class.  They have robbed social security and they didn’t put a dime into it.  At this very moment their are families in my area who are trying to recover from floods 15 months apart.  After they gave the go ahead to build levees that has made the flooding worse their only answer to the problem is a buy out of property.  How do you buyout places like Valley Mount Ranch and Krause Farms that have been in the family since the 30s?  They don’t deserve this.  How about some real humanitarian efforts to help these families out?

Sorry for the rant but it seems that humanity is the thing of the past and has been replaced by greed.  Thanks for reading my blog.  I know it was a little long and I apologize.  Be kind to one another, share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responsible or Not

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“Only by taking responsibility for oneself, to the greatest extent possible, can one ever be free, and only a free person can make responsible choices – between right and wrong, saving and spending, giving or taking.” – Paul Ryan

Responsibility : According to Merriam – Webster; the quality or state of being responsible such as:  moral, legal, or mental accountability.

When I watch the news I become so disenchanted with people who simply won’t take responsibility for their actions or their children’s actions.  My favorite one is where the lady blamed the police for her son crashing a stolen car.  In her words she said the police were picking on him because that was the first car he had stole.  Oh yeah, and he was only fourteen years old.  Really?  They were picking on him?  I guess the police would have been in the right if it were the second car he stole.

Parents seem to want to blame teachers for their children’s bad grades.  They never want to take the blame for any of it.  Some even go as far as to believe they have no responsibility in the education of their children other than financial.  After all isn’t that why the teachers get paid the big bucks?

One of my biggest pet peeves is the pet owner that gets an animal and after the animal has lived with them for five or six years and it is no longer a little one any more they shirk their responsibility and take it to the local pound.  The one that really gets my Scoobies in a knot are the ones that don’t want to take care of their pet of 14 years because they don’t want to deal with it and they take it to the pound.  They don’t want the responsibility of helping it through its bad days and the vet bills or cleaning up after it.  Really?  You OWE that much to that pet!

Use to be if people saw some lady getting raped bystanders would intervene and help her out and take the attacker down.  Now days the bystanders pull out their cellphones and start recording the act.  Ever wonder why the people recording crimes don’t put the cellphone down and help them?  Ain’t their responsibility to help another human being in trouble.  No siree!  That would be the responsibility of the police don’t ya know!

I remember in Missouri food stamp recipients use to get paper food stamp money to buy their groceries with.  They finally had to go to a card system because people couldn’t be responsible enough to use the food stamps correctly.

I apologize for the rant.  I could go on all night.  Why do you suppose their are so many folks now days that just won’t recognize responsibilities?  I have a couple ideas.  You probably won’t agree with me but that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

You think the preferential treatment of athletes might have something to do with it?  One that I am familiar with is the football player Leonard Little.  Little played for the St. Louis Rams.  He got drunk on his birthday and ran a red light and plowed his Navigator into a tiny little car killing the mother inside.  He got 90 days in jail and an 8 game suspension. Then, then 6 years later he gets picked up for drunk driving again and despite failing three field sobriety tests and refusing a breathalyzer test, and killing someone six years before, he was acquitted.  ACQUITTED!  Then he goes on to retire from the Rams.  Yep, let’s teach our kids responsibility.

Last but not least then I will shut up.  Would someone tell me how our welfare system teaches responsibility?  Our own government made people slaves of government handouts without educating them on how to break free of the system.  Our welfare program doesn’t teach people how to be responsible.  Our government has severely failed these people.

Thanks for reading my blog.  I know you may not agree with me but I will still respect your opinion.Be kind to one another, don’t squat with your spurs on and share the love. God Bless you one and all.

“At the end of the day,  you are solely responsible for your success and your failure.  And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful.  As long as you blame others for the reason you aren’t where you want to be, you will always be a failure.” – Erin Cummings

I think this quote can also be used for life in general.