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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cliven Bundy's Legal Logic

This arose as part of a discussion with someone I know on Facebook. Even if you like the idea of the little guy standing up to the government, it's important that you understand what that person stands for. In the case of Cliven Bundy, it would mean that our National Parks, Forests, Wildlife Refuges, Preserves are all illegally owned.

But first, a quick bit of history about the land Cliven Bundy is illegally using.

1848: The land was signed over to the United States government as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the end of the Mexican-American War. At that point, the only people that had any legal claim to any of the land in that treaty were the Mexicans that already owned property and wished to stay. Ownership of the rest is transferred to the federal government.

1864: The state of Nevada was created, but the federal government still owns the land, and this is no different than how it still owned the land that eventually became our National Forests, Parks, Wildlife Refuges, etc when it created our other states.

1948: The Bundy family purchased their 160 acre farm. They did not, however, purchase the other federal land that they have been using. Bundy claims his ancestors used the land as early as 1877.

If you read through the things they say, their argument is that the federal government does not have the legal right to own property within state boundaries, and by creating the states, the land is automatically owned by the state that contains it. That is why Ammon Bundy referred to the BLM violating the sovereignty of Nevada in a letter to the readers of USA Today; they believe it belongs to Nevada and that the federal government is trying to take it away. But, in actuality, Nevada never owned it; the federal government's ownership of it predates the state by over a decade, and the Bundy family by at least three decades. There have been multiple court cases between Bundy and the BLM that have reaffirmed the BLM's ownership and right to manage the land.

You may not like the BLM or the federal government, but that doesn't change the fact that they're not the ones breaking the law; Bundy is. What's more, the reason grazing fees exist is to cover the fence maintenance, weed control, and other costs that grazing incur. By not paying his grazing fees, he has been forcing the rest of us to pay for it with our tax dollars.

And, as I mentioned before, if you agree with Bundy that the federal government should not have the right to the land in dispute, then just keep in mind that this would also apply to our National Parks, Forests, Monuments, Wildlife Refuges, Preserves, military bases, etc.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thin and Round Wheat Tortillas the Easy Way

I might update this later to include my recipe (just whole wheat flour, olive oil, and water) and a start-to-finish guide on how I make flour tortillas, but for now I'm just going to write about the main idea I want to get across: getting your flour tortillas thin and round without a ton of hassle, frustration, or mess.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poverty and Obesity: Correlation Without Causation

Which costs more:
One bag of potato chips, or two bags of potato chips?
One hamburger from the dollar menu, or two?
A small soft drink, or an extra large?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Big Picture: Fences

Building on the ideas I presented in one of my old posts, The Big Picture: Opposites, I'm using photos of fence lines to demonstrate how the way we use the land impacts the environment:


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kale and Spinach: A Nutritional Comparison

I constantly see how people obsess over kale and tout it as a "superfood." It certainly is an amazing source of things like vitamins A, C, and K. For example, a cup of kale (67g) contains 206% of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A, 134% for vitamin C, and a whopping 684% for vitamin K. It's also a good source for other vitamins and minerals. Additionally, although you will not get much protein from kale, it is fairly well rounded and contains all the essential amino acids.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Vegetarianism vs Meat: A Cost Perspective

When people find out that I am vegetarian they are usually curious about my reasons for it. I actually have a variety of reasons for it that I bring together to support my decision, and I'm writing this post to provide some insight into one of them: cost. As it turns it, a vegetarian diet is significantly cheaper than a meat based diet, and I always enjoy the looks on people's faces when I tell them I can easily eat healthy for less than $5 a day (I'm a very active 6'2" male). Some people spend more for their daily Starbucks fix.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My First Android App: Exploding Live Wallpaper

Update: The features of the paid version have been merged into the free version. As a result, there are no longer any feature restrictions in the free version.

I've finally published my first Android app. It's a live wallpaper that dynamically renders potentially thousands of cubes that are grouped and colored in such a way as to form an image. Then, randomly every few seconds, the cubes explode apart and eventually return into position. Despite being simple, the effect is both exciting and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some images:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The 2nd Amendment and Guns

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I'm writing this because I personally know a lot of people that are very supportive of gun rights. More specifically, I'm writing this because I find it very curious the way they constantly refer to the 2nd Amendment as a way to support their cause. Because when you think about what is actually stated in the 2nd Amendment, the way people try to use it as an argument for gun rights is questionable.