BLM RETREAT – WE THE PEOPLE WIN OPENING BATTLE

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Posted on 14th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Is this our Lexington & Concord?

 

In an epic standoff that Infowars reporter David Knight described as being like “something out of a movie,” supporters of Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy advanced on a position held by BLM agents despite threats that they would be shot at, eventually forcing BLM feds to release 100 cattle that had been stolen from Bundy as part of a land grab dispute that threatened to escalate into a Waco-style confrontation.

THE MOTHER OF ALL FINANCIAL BUBBLES

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Posted on 14th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Submitted by David Stockman from Contra Corner

This Is Not A “Healthy Correction”: The Mother Of All Financial Bubbles Is Beginning To Crack

Wolf Richter is one of the most astute observers of our bubble-ridden/central bank perverted financial scene around. His blog called Testosterone Pit is a daily “must read” and more than that: its posts are succinct, spritely, fact-based, conclusionary and cover the global map with special insight on those debt ridden houses of cards on the other side of the Pacific—-Japan and China.

Wolf today issued a timely warning. Next week we will be told by Wall Street stock peddlers that what are just having a healthy correction and that it will soon be time to “buy the dip”. Don’t believe them. We are perched precariously at the top of one of the greatest financial bubbles ever because it is global—-the handiwork of world-wide central bank driven credit expansion and drastic interest rate repression.

Just recall some of the numbers. At the turn of the century, the US had about $25 trillion of credit market debt outstanding; now it is pushing $60 trillion. About 14 years ago, China had debt of $1 trillion; now its nearly $25 trillion. And similar credit explosions occurred in much of the rest of the world. It was all central bank enabled, and it caused world wide investment booms and asset inflations which defy every law of sound money and economics, and which cannot be sustained indefinitely.

The bottom line of those destructive policies is that “cap rates” are artificially low and so their reciprocal, asset values, are enormously inflated. Likewise, nearly zero money market interest rates in virtually every major economy of the world have fueled the most fantastic expansion of “carry trades” ever imagined.

As I have frequently pointed out, the short-term market for repo and other wholesale funding represents the cost of goods (COGS) for financial gamblers; its what they use to fund their speculations in higher yielding currencies, corporate debt, equities, and every manner of derivatives and OTC concoctions that Wall Street trading desks can engineer.

So when the central banks drive the money market rates to just 5-50 bps, they are offering ZERO-COGS to speculators. This is a massive incentive to bid up the price of anything that has a yield north of 50 basis points or a short-run appreciation prospect of the same—in order to capture the spread. This is what has turned the so-called capital markets of the world into dangerous casinos. This is what led speculators this week to gorge on $4 billion in Greek debt carrying the lunatic coupon of just 4.75%.

The latter is not even a remotely plausible pricing of the risk of a government with a 170% debt to GDP ratio—- sitting atop an eviscerated economy that has shrunk by more than 20% and has nothing much left except tourism, yogurt plants and a 27% unemployment rate. Instead, it evidences the fast money traders who swooped in to buy a 475 bp coupon funded by free money from the central banks, and who did so in the confidence that the ECB will do “whatever it takes” to prop up the price of member country sovereign debt.

Needless to say, the minute that the millions of gamblers who have been enabled by the ZERO-COGS gift of central banks loose confidence in their ability to prop up asset values, the panic will set in. Then a great dumping stampede will start. It will be the mother of all margin calls—-a repeat of the dumping panic on Wall Street that occurred in September 2008 when toxic mortgage securities which had been funded by overnight repo were forced into fire sales by wholesale lenders refusing to roll their repo.

Only this one will be much grander because the carry trades have gone more global then ever before. Even pig farmers in China have their sties loaded with copper because through a roundabout trade it can be repo’d for cash.

Indeed, the global financial system is land-mined with time-bombs–some hidden and others transparent. But what is certain is that when huge distortions like the newly booming market for dollar-denominated junk bonds being issued by EM companies increasingly parched for cash craters, there will be a ricocheting chain reaction that will spread far and wide.

As they might have said back in the day on Hill Street Blues “don’t go out there, its too dangerous”. Below, Wolf Richter reminds us of why.

By Wolf Richter At The Testosterone Pit

“Biotech Stocks’ Rout Perplexes Analysts” is how the Wall Street Journal headlined the phenomenon. The Nasdaq Biotech Index had plunged 21% from its intraday high six weeks ago, to which it had ascended in an ever steepening curve that culminated in a beautiful spike. I wrote about that craziness at the time. My impeccable timing was, unfortunately, sheer luck, but the Biotech bubble had become so glaring that even I could see it [NASDAQ 10,000 – Or Something]. So it’s perplexing that analysts would be perplexed.

To add some color, the WSJ quoted ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum: “Horrible day in #biotech. I’m frankly at a loss for an explanation. And it’s my job to at least know why. Humbling day.”

He has been a stock analyst following the Biotech sector since 2000. If he’d started three years earlier, he would have seen the bubble build, pick up momentum, go crazy, and pop in early 2000. He would have seen Biogen dive so fast so far it would have knotted up his stomach. He would have experienced the implosion viscerally. And he might not have forgotten – though many analysts have. But not having been through this before, he was “at a loss.”

And something is cracking.

Of the 14 IPOs planned for this week – the busiest since 2007 at the eve of the last implosion – five were postponed, pending better weather. But Farmland Partners started trading on Friday, and got plowed under. An hour before the close, it was down over 10% from its offering price of $14 a share. A last-minute rally brought it up to $12.98, for a loss of 7.3%.

“People are pretty nervous,” explained CEO Paul Pittman. “This is about building long-term value in an asset class that for all kinds of macro reasons we believe is certainly going to keep appreciating.”

That endlessly appreciating asset class is farmland. The company, which expects to get taxed as a REIT, doesn’t own or do much yet. But it’s gonna “acquire high-quality primary row crop farmland … throughout North America … upon completion of a series of formation transactions.” It’ll own 38 farms with 7,300 total acres, mostly in Illinois.

Farmland has been hot for long time.

Over the last 10 years, farmland prices in Iowa soared 282%, in Nebraska and South Dakota 326%. Over the last 6 months, prices still rose 7.2% in South Dakota, but in Nebraska they stalled, and in Iowa they started to fall, now down 2.8%.

Farmland has been through this before: in the 1980s, the bubble burst, and farmers who’d borrowed against their land at nosebleed valuations ran into trouble because crop prices couldn’t make the equation work, and they couldn’t service their debts and had to sell, which triggered more bouts of forced selling which drove prices down further and took rural lenders down with them. The scenario of any bubble that is unwinding. It wreaked havoc on rural America.

That Wall Street finally pushed a farmland REIT, willing to buy farmland at peak valuations, into the hands of retail investors, after a huge multi-year run-up in stocks and farmland, should send people scurrying out of the way.

“But it’s not a bubble.”

That’s what Savita Subramanian, Head of US Equity and Quantitative Strategy BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, wrote on March 21. Then she went on to describe what exactly it was, namely a bubble:

We have witnessed a recent surge in media attention on the topic of equity bubbles, citing various signs of evidence: Biotech stocks have risen 300% over the past five years, and Internet stocks have returned more than 400% over the same period. And most IPOs this year have been for unprofitable companies trading at high valuations…. The recent sell-off in high-fliers has investors worried that the deflation of this “bubble” could take down the overall market, similar to what occurred in 2000.

But no. “We think not,” she wrote. BofA Merrill Lynch makes lots of moolah pushing overpriced stocks to exuberant retail investors who’ve been driven by the Fed’s interest rate repression into the razor-like claws of risk. And besides, “the frothy spots appear well contained,” she added in central-banker lingo. And then the old saw: “Equity bubbles rarely happen when everybody is talking about bubbles.”

In late 1999 and early 2000, just before the bubble imploded spectacularly, “bubble” was the only thing everyone was talking about. Everybody tried to ride it up all the way and then get out. With predictable results. Repeat in 2007 and 2008.

That’s what analysts are doing. They see the bubble, and they benchmark it against the bubbles that blew up in 2000 and 2007, and they pull rationalizations out of thin air why this time it’s d…. Oops, they’re not using the d-word, which would make them the laughing stock of TP readers. They’re using logical-sounding arguments that border on superstitions – “Equity bubbles rarely happen when everybody is talking about bubbles” – to explain why it’s different. Exuberant retail investors are expected to swallow it hook, line, and sinker.

Meanwhile, the Smart Money is selling.

This week, it was once again private-equity mastodon Blackstone Group which dumped one of its LBOs, hotel chain La Quinta, into the lap of mutual funds and retail investors via an IPO. Blackstone has been busy dumping its LBOs. Other PE firms have been busy too. Valuations are enormous, and PE firms need months, sometimes years, to get out from under their priced possessions. So they plan ahead. And they’ve been selling everything that isn’t nailed down for over a year.

And hedge funds are bailing out of equities. Still in an orderly manner.

“We saw net exposure come way down,” explained Jon Kinderlerer, managing director at Credit Suisse’s prime brokerage business that deals with hedge funds. Hedge fund exposure to stocks in the US is “actually at the lowest level since August 2012,” during the euro turmoil before ECB President Mario Draghi saved the day with his whatever-it-takes pledge. “Funds have trimmed exposure, and they’ve added hedges.” The sharpest cuts occurred over the past month, he said. Hedge funds are “battening down the hatches to weather the storm.”

Buried in the IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report is a doozie of a chart. It depicts the bubble in covenant-lite and second-lien loans, the same that helped blow up the banks in 2008. Only this time, they’re even worse. Read….. Biggest Credit Bubble in History Flashes Warning: ‘Seek Cover, Implosion In Sight’

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This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Testosterone Pit. To view original, click here.

THIS WON’T END WELL

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Posted on 14th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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HOLDER

9 comments

Posted on 14th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

 

Via Investors.com

Domes & Embedded Energy

19 comments

Posted on 14th April 2014 by Reverse Engineer in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Published on SUN4Living on April 13, 2014

monolithic-dome

Interview: Monolithic Domes Founder David South

 

https://soundcloud.com/doomstead-diner/david-south-monolithic-domes

 

SAMSUNG CSC

 

 

Eddie did some chronicling of the daily learning that went on at Monolithic Domes, in retrospect now that the Workshop is over I thought I might take some time tonight to look at the Bigger Picture with respect to Domes in general, and the Monolithic Method in particular.

Wednesday’s workshopp was particularly rich in information of sorts I did not have specific knowledge of before, parameters for building ferrocement domes and making them solid and resilient on the engineering level. A remarkably few people are expert in this stuff, and David South has more experience with more Domes up globally than anybody else. If you want to know domes of this type, this is the go-to guy. Not just for Doomers, but for everyone from the United Nations to various Saudi Sheiks and the NASCAR folks too.

The Monolithics though are quite energy intensive in the building, and at least for the larger scale domes need quite a bit of high tech materials and equipment to put up. Not outrageous when you consider the scale of some of these domes and the fact a crew of 5-10 people can put one up, but still quite a bit of stuff that will be hard if not impossible to come by in the not too distant future. That includes particularly the polyurethane foam that forms the initial dome structure, the Dome Balloon Vinyl skin, the Basalt rebar and the pumps used for spraying the Foam and the Shotcrete.

The fact construction of the larger domes depends on these materials and equipment does not diminish their utility NOW though, while they still can be constructed at a reasonable price. The ferrocement structure itself can last a very long time, providing good shelter for years to come. So it makes sense to build such structures now while you can, embedding the energy into the structure, as opposed to burning it simply for the purpose of willy-nilly Happy Motoring.

Such large Open structures have a multitude of uses as well, and given they are resistant to disasters such as Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Floods, Earthquakes and Wildfires they make a lot of sense where Climate Change is a preeminent problem. They are quite airtight as well, which could be important in scenarios where Nuclear Fallout is a problem. The structures can be purposed for indoor intensive food production through Hydroponics, Aquaponics and Aquaculture; in fact in the next year the Monolithic folks are planning on putting up a Commercial Facility for just this sort of production on the campus of the Monolithic Institute.

The inability to acquire and use some of the tools and materials that enable the construction of the really BIG DOMES does not eliminate the potential for building quite similar domes on a somewhat smaller scale utilizing similar methods, and during the week here the Diners attending the course have been Brainstorming on ways to adapt the building techniques to more locally available materials, renewable structural components like Bamboo, and substituting Human Labor for operations currently done with the aid of fossil fuel powered machines. Although the 100′+ Domes possible with the Monolithic Method aren’t possible with such materials, it is probable you could construct Domes in the 50′ range utililiIng natural fibers, adobe or cobb, and finishing with concrete reinforced with various materials either scavenged or grown. Such smaller domes would be quite capable of doing the same things the larger ones do, you would just need to construct more of them. We hope to begin experimenting with some of these ideas over the months to come and we will report more on this on the SUN Website.

A primary area we are looking at in terms of utilizing the Monolithic methods for Housing in the near future is for providing Affordable Rental Housing in the $150/week range. With many people descending from the Middle Class into the ranks of the Working Poor, the need for this type of housing is apparent, and the Domes provide a means to build this up in a modular fashion without taking on a lot of debt.

The fundamental weakness as far as the Monolithic method is concerned is its dependence on the high tech material used for creating the Balloon used as a framework/scaffold for spraying polyurethane foam and hanging rebar and either spraying “shotcrete” or trowling on concrete by hand. The high tech materials are likely to become unavailable as the economic system further deteriorates, so the ability to build the domes using these items will eventually disappear.

http://www.technobasalt.com/i/products/439_241/s6tdJfs2.jpgThe loss of the high tech materials doesn’t make the construction of ferrocement domes impossible, there are other methods available for doing this, at least on the small-medium scale. The largest domes in the 100′+ category likely become impossible to build without access to these materials. However, the basic construction materials of aggregate and rebar will likely be available a good deal longer, and can be used to construct both smaller domes as well as other types of structures.

Given these parameters, the sooner we get to building the larger domes the better, and constructed with Basalt Rebar (another high tech product), these domes will have an extremely long lifespan before they fail. Because concrete is porous to water, eventually using Steel Rebar for reinforcement this will rust and fail, after which the concrete will eventually crack and begin to collapse. Once the integrity of the Dome structure is compromised, the rest of the dome becomes rubble shortly after that.

Why is it important to get the domes up now while we still can? First, because of their utility and efficiency right now, second because as shelter, they will last a whole lot longer than the current McMansions we are using for shelter. They are also multi-purpose, with the open space of the interior useful for indoor growing methods, which will likely become increasingly important as climate change continues to wreak havoc with conventional farming methods.

While the largest domes built using the Monolithic techniques are quite impressive, such large structures really aren’t necessary, and in some cases actually counter-productive. In the case of using them as grow domes for hydroponics or aquaculture, if at some point the water system becomes contaminated you lose an enormous amount of the produce in one shot. On the other hand, if you grow a similar amount through smaller distributed and independent domes, an infection in one system doesn’t affect the other ones, so such a system is more resilient.

In the long term, the domes in the typical size range of 20′ to 60′ in diameter, not all dependent on the high tech materials and equipment that the Monolithic domes depend on. These domes are the most easily constructed by individuals at relatively inexpensive costs, with a variety of materials possible to use in reinforcement as both basalt and steel rebar become less available. Far as Cement and Aggregate are concerned for making Concrete, the limestone is available locally and there is no shortage of sand. What will be difficult of course is moving such heavy stuff around without fuel to run the trucks.

Although the Monolithic Domes once constructed are an extremely energy efficient structure, the materials and methods used to create them represent Embedded Energy which is available right now, but is unlikely to be available as we move forward into a low available energy world in the future.

Realization that this is the medium to long term case first means that it is worthwhile to build as many of these types of domes as possible now, and make them as long lasting as possible. For this purpose, the “Ecoshell” construction method using just Concrete in conjunction with Basalt Rebar that doesn’t rust can create a dome with the potential of lasting Centuries with no maintenance, and the vinyl balloons used to scaffold the ecoshells can be reused many times. Although these structures lack the insulation values of the Monolithic Domes, alternative means of Insulation can be applied later which may not be as long lasting as polyurethane, but can be periodically renewed from locally available materials. Given the cost of the balloons also, the ability to reuse them many times substantially decreases the cost per building as the number of buildings created w ith it increases.

Monolithic Domes dependence on high tech materials presents a weakness as a long term solution, but are very useful now in the preparation phase and transition to a lower per capita energy world. Moreover, many of the techniques can be adapted to more locally available and renewable materials. Embedding available energy now into these structures can go a long way toward easing the transition off the Fossil Fuel Jones.

QUOTES OF THE DAY

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Posted on 14th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud.   The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident.”

Charles H. Ferguson

“Thus did a handful of rapacious citizens come to control all that was worth controlling in America. Thus was the savage and stupid and entirely inappropriate and unnecessary and humorless American class system created. Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage.

And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed. Thus the American dream turned belly up, turned green, bobbed to the scummy surface of cupidity unlimited, filled with gas, went bang in the noonday sun.”

Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

IT AIN’T OVER

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Posted on 14th April 2014 by AWD in Economy

Watch this video. The Feds and LV SWAT teams threatened to shoot them, and they marched anyway. These people are itching for a fight, as are millions of supporters across this land. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings….

Feds Back Down In New Bundy Standoff, Agree to Release Cattle

Despite the fact that Bureau of Land Management officials agreed to cease their operation to seize Bundy’s cattle after a massive public backlash, Bundy demanded that Sheriff Douglas Gillespie disarm BLM officials and return his stolen cows.

When this didn’t happen, hundreds of Bundy supporters, including cowboys on horseback, descended on a nearby cattle pen outside of Mesquite where the seized cows were being held.

In a tense standoff, armed BLM feds, backed up by at least one SWAT team, threatened to shoot at Bundy supporters if they marched any closer to a line of vehicles.

Infowars reporter David Knight, who was at the head of the march, described the scene as like the moment from V For Vendetta when the military is forced to stand down.

Despite threats such as “one more step and you’re dead,” the protesters continued their slow march towards BLM agents as bullhorns blared.

Refusing to back down, the protesters marched straight past the armed men and towards the cattle pen.

Sheriff Gillespie eventually appeared to inform Bundy supporters that the BLM had finally caved and agreed to release the 100 cattle they had seized that were inside the pen.

After around 30 minutes, Bundy supporters saw the cattle being released about a mile away in the distance.

It cannot be overstated how much of a gargantuan victory this represents for the American people in their battle against big government tyranny.

“The people have the power when they unite,” Ammon Bundy told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “The war has just begun.”

Bundy Ranch Armed Standoff First Hand Account

6 comments

Posted on 13th April 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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From Rex 84 at The Daily Paul

Well first things first, I am one of those “inbred bastards” from Utah that arrived with “funeral plans”. When I was driving Saturday morning I-15 south just past St. George, I caught up to 3 Horse Trailers with around 15 horses and I instantly notice they were all pre-saddled and ready to go. I knew then that there would be many more and we were going to take the cattle.

9:00am I arrived at the Bundy Ranch. Shortly after, the cowboys had all organized and were parading with several flags across the bridge. They continued up to the top of the nearest hilltop and staked in the American Flag. They had a riderless horse being led up the hilltop to represent all of our fallen soldiers. They led us in a Flag Ceremony followed with songs including the “star spangled banner”.

The Sheriff arrived to meet with Cliven Bundy. Cliven said he would not speak to the Sheriff in a “backroom” and called him up to the stage. The Sheriff announced that the BLM were going to cease their operations to round up anymore cattle and would be making plans to leave. Cliven got back on the mic and demanded that the Sheriff make them start immediatly. He gave an ultimatum of one hour to have certain terms underway or else the people would do it themselves with force. He instructed the Sheriff to go advise the BLM and called on the media to follow so they could report back in one hours time and let us know if they had made any progress.

After one hours time Cliven came back to the mic and requested a progress report from the media and Sheriff only to be met by silence. He continued making requests for about 15 minutes. After waiting with no response, he instructed everyone that all that needed to be done, was to open the gates and the cattle would just follow the wash right back to the river in their pasture. He ordered that we shut down the freeway just long enough to get the gates open, release the cattle and the cowboys would take it from there. He then declared that we would all do this peacefully and that “no American will get hurt today”.

When I pulled off to the side off the freeway I saw a very large SWAT vehicle pull in and I could hear a long line of sirens coming north from Las Vegas. There was probably 100 BLM vehicles in their compound on the north side of the freeway. It was a scary feeling to be gearing up with my deer rifle and look on the other side of the road and see the SWAT team gearing up with bulletproof armor, riot shields and fully automatic weapons.

We all kind of grouped around Ammon Bundy. Someone in the group cut the fence on the south side of the freeway and we headed down towards the wash. We then rounded the corner in the wash to see many rifles pointed at us from behind lined up vehicles. Ammon then requested that someone lead us in a word of prayer before we moved forward. We all knelt to our knees in prayer. It was very spiritual. We then moved foward and took shelter in the shade under the first overpass to wait for the cowboys to arrive from the ranch. There was a fox news guy with us in the wash and he was the first to advance towards the gates and he was filming both sides of the standoff.

The cowboys arrived and formed a line in front of the group. Then we all began to move toward the BLM, SWAT. We approached to less than 50 yards from the SWAT who had spotters in the back assessing the threat level of every person and were pointing out the people with rifles over the shoulder of the other agents. They had warnings over a loudspeaker telling us to disperse or we may be fired upon. They were saying we were in violation of a court order and also threatened to use non lethal force. At that point I was expecting to be shot with tear gas. At no time were the Bundy supporters threatening with our weapons. It was made clear that we would not fire unless fired upon.

At that time discussions began from the leaders of both sides. The BLM continued demanding that we leave and Ammon kept saying, “No. You Leave”. He was arguing that BLM had no authority here, and that “We the People” were here to release the cattle and kick the BLM out of Bunkerville. We were then told that the cattle would be released in one half hour if the group would back-off back under the first overpass. A majority of the group moved back to the cover a shade and we all continued to wait. The half hour then turned into three hours and the cattle were released to silence. The group held all applause until after the cattle passed under the second overpass so as not to spook them.

Shortly before the cows were released, Sheriff Mack and Stewart Rhodes arrived and entered the wash from above. I was able to simply shake their hands. They thanked everyone for standing up, not backing down and acting with level heads.

After the release of the cows I headed back to the Bundy Ranch. I got stuck in a traffic jam on the freeway and, I did not mind having to wait. I passed the BLM compound and every Federal vehicle was gone. Every single one. There was about twenty local police vehicles mixed with highway patrol but they were only directing traffic. The only thing left in the compound is a bunch of knocked over corral panels and some heavy equipment that couldn’t just be driven down the freeway. When I was coming down the hill to the gathering at the Bundy ranch I looked out to the river and I could see the first set of cows all spreading out in the virgin river valley. It was a beautiful sight.

Back at the ranch there was a number of Victory speeches by people including, Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Richard Mack, Stewart Rhodes and Peter Santelli. Santelli then kind of took over and seemed to be doing some sort of a podcast or something while he was interviewing supporters. He kept referring to the next interviewee as “the next caller”. After about an hour of Santelli, Ammon Bundy came on stage and told him that we love him but we were all tired of hearing him and requested the supporters hold the mic and pass it to eachother. I stayed until dusk and then drove home to my family.